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Yale doctors cite a couple of reasons for COVID-19 uptick​

"We’ve seen a 41% increase in the percentage of patients in the age group 35 to 44 since December 27," said one Yale doctor.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Over the last two weeks, the number of Covid patients admitted to hospitals across the Yale-New Haven Health System, which includes 7 campuses, has increased by 25 percent.

Yale doctors are concerned about the recent emergence of several variants, especially one tied to the United Kingdom, which data suggests could cause result in a higher death rate than the primary strain.

"And we’re now seeing that about 40% of the positive tests that we are getting include that B117 (U.K.) variant," said Dr. Tom Balcezak, Chief Medical Officer for Yale-New Haven Health.

And it's younger folks being admitted.

"We’ve seen a 41% increase in the percentage of patients in the age group 35 to 44 since December 27," Balcezak says. 

And, there are a couple of reasons for this.

"One is this population to a large extent may not have had access to the vaccine because of the age rollout," said Marna Borgstrom, CEO for Yale-New Haven Health.

And the other factor: increased transmissibility of the variants. And young kids aren't escaping either.

"Last week we admitted and intubated a 21-year-old, really very unusual," Balcezak said.

Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital has 6 pediatric covid cases, including two in the ICU. But Pfizer recently completed vaccine trials in 2,300 children ages 12-15. None, who were vaccinated, contracted covid.

"In addition, the vaccine was safe, very well tolerated by the kids," said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu of Yale Medicine, who plays a key role in the Pfizer COVID vaccine trials. 

"There were no serious adverse effects and we found that they’re immune system responded quite well to the vaccines."

Certainly, this is great news for children. 

"Even if they haven’t died at the rate adults have but they’ve had school closures, they’ve had social isolation, we’ve heard of things like suicides going up among that group," said Ogbuagu, who says we must get a grasp on COVID over the next several months.

"I think on my Twitter feed I said to have a good summer let’s have a cautious spring."

    

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