Here’s another coronavirus update that has many U.S. healthcare providers worried about the future. In today’s article, we thought we’d share some of the latest projections on coronavirus infections, deaths, and its impact on U.S. hospitals.
With news about mask, gown, and glove shortages in healthcare institutions around the United States, the impact of coronavirus continues to be felt – and it will likely keep on growing, in the coming months. According to leaked data from the American Hospital Association (AHA), the number of U.S. cases of coronavirus is projected to reach a titanic number over the next few months!
And, if projections hold up, this will be an unprecedented shock to the American healthcare system.
LEAKED information: Officials estimate coronavirus death toll could reach half a million people in U.S. – with 96 million total infections
In a February 2020 presentation from the AHA – part of which was leaked to Business Insider – officials shared their dire estimations about the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the potentially fatal respiratory illness now known as COVID-19.
Among their warnings, AHA officials estimate as many as 96 million people will contract SARS-CoV-2, and as many as 480,000 people will die of complications from the disease and respiratory distress it causes. Based on these projections, the coronavirus will tax U.S. hospitals and healthcare institutions at a 10 times higher intensity than a severe flu season.
Other parts of the world, especially Northern Italy, continue to be hard-hit by this virus – now officially recognized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic
Coronavirus update in New York: The National Guard has been deployed
In other breaking coronavirus news, the U.S. National Guard has now been deployed to New Rochelle, N.Y., just north of New York City.
The drastic move is in an attempt not just to contain the spread of the coronavirus – as unfortunately, there are already 108 confirmed cases in this small town – but “mitigation,” according to a March 10 article from U.S. News & World Report.
The National Guard and other public officials are reportedly tasked to close all schools, community centers, and places of worship within a 1 mile “containment radius” for at least two weeks. U.S. military forces will also be present to help ensure quarantine measures maintained, deliver food to quarantined individuals, and help clean schools.
The “official” word is still out on whether travel restrictions, including community-, state-, and nation-wide, will be imposed. If this virus continues to spread (as predicted), you can be sure to see widespread travel restrictions take place.
Meanwhile, a new study was just published on March 3 in National Science Review. The paper, called “On the origin and continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2,” details a research team’s findings about the genetic mutation of the coronavirus.
The researchers found just a 4 percent genetic variability between the SARS-CoV-2 and a related coronavirus strain, yet found other evidence which suggested “the divergence between the two viruses is much larger than previously estimated.”
The researchers also identified two major types of the SARS-CoV-2 genome – which they called L type and S type. “Whereas the L type was more prevalent in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan,” the authors note, “the frequency of the L type decreased after early January 2020. Human intervention may have placed more selective pressure on the L type, which might be more aggressive and spread more quickly.”
“On the other hand,” they continue, “the S type, which is evolutionarily older and less aggressive, might have increased in relative frequency due to relatively weaker selective pressure.”
While this paper has already met its fair share of criticism – including a call to retract the paper from a team of researchers from the University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research – we at least know that we’ll probably have as many questions as answers right now about this ongoing and actively evolving news story.
But, between you and me, perhaps the administrators of U.S. hospitals need to read this – about a viable solution being deployed in China.