As the Delta variant rapidly spreads, US hotspots have seen cases climbing – and an expert warns a “surprising amount” of Covid-19 deaths could soon follow.
The US is averaging about 19,455 new cases over the last seven days, a 47% increase from the week prior, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And a third of those, CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner said, come from five hotspots:
“In places like Missouri where ICUs are packed, you’re going to see a surprising amount of death,” Reiner said on Sunday.
At Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, 91% of ICU patients are on ventilators and many are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, Chief Administrative Officer Erik Frederick told CNN Saturday. That is especially concerning, he said, because at the peak last year there were only 40 to 50% of ICU patients on ventilators.
Typically, increases in Covid-19 death rates follow three to four weeks behind spikes in cases, Reiner said. It takes a week for patients to get sick enough to need hospitalization and then often another couple of weeks for the infection to become fatal.
“We will start to see an increase in mortality in this country,” Reiner said.