CLEVELAND (WJW) — As Ohio sees record-breaking coronavirus case numbers, local doctors are urging people to take precautions to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
The Cleveland Clinic says they have plenty of available beds in their hospitals right now. But doctors there, and at hospitals across Ohio, are pleading with everyone to take action now to bring down the numbers before it is too late.
“We’re not seeing the hospitalizations that we did back, say in July, but we certainly are seeing an increase in hospitalizations now,” said Dr. Kristin Englund, infectious disease physician at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Englund says right now, the Cleveland Clinic has room to treat many more coronavirus patients, but she hopes they do not have to. She says the daily upward trend, which surpassed two thousand new cases statewide on Wednesday, is very concerning. The doctor says many of positive cases are among young people.
“We are seeing certainly an increase in hospitalizations overall and that’s probably being driven more by the older population needing to be hospitalized, but the younger folks are thankfully able to stay out of the hospital and out of our ICUs,” said Dr. Englund.
According to the CDC, the spike in coronavirus cases is mainly the result of small gatherings among family and friends. Dr. Englund says upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving could cause the pandemic in Ohio to get even worse.
“Really look at whether this is a time to expose potentially family members, older family members. It might be a time to reevaluate how you’re gonna celebrate Thanksgiving,” Dr. Englund said.
Meanwhile, as drug companies race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, the CDC says it might not be available for children, at first. According to the agency’s website, current trials are being tested only on non-pregnant healthy adults.
Dr. Claudia Hoyen, a pediatric infectious disease physician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital says that makes sense.
“We want to be sure that it works, you know, so why enroll a bunch of kids, who, within medicine, we consider a vulnerable population. Why put them potentially at risk,” said Dr. Hoyen.
The CDC says vaccine trials will soon expand to include children, who don’t generally get as sick as older adults if infected.
“It’s just not the same clinical picture, so we have the luxury of ensuring that we know the vaccine is gonna work before we start using it in trials on children,” said Dr. Hoyen.
She says until a vaccine is approved for adults or children, staying safe is as simple as A-B-C-D.
“A, always wear masks… B, be aware of your symptoms… C, clean your hands and your area… D, distance physically, but not socially,” she said.
Both doctors we spoke to remind people that unless you’re around your immediate family who you live with, you should wear a mask and social distance.
Dr. Englund says although Ohio is testing more people, that is not the main reason for the spike in the numbers.
She says the percentage of people testing positive is increasing too.
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