February 9, 2023

Three quarters of children’s hospital beds in the US are already full heading into winter as young people are hit by a triple virus epidemic attributed to the curb closures.

The DailyMail.com interactive map shows eight states had pediatric capacity above 90 percent as of Dec. 3, the last available, with units in one state completely overwhelmed. Nationally, 75.3 percent of the beds were occupied.

Doctors say this year’s flu season is the ‘worst’ they’ve experienced in years – with RSV and flu cases at their highest level in a decade.

There are also growing concerns about a wave of Strep A infections hitting the US after 15 children in the UK died from the normally benign bacterial bacteria – which is more common after viral infections such as RSV and flu.

Idaho, Arizona and Rhode Island are the hardest hit states in America. Meanwhile, some are already telling people to mask again – and not for Covid.

Where are the pediatric ICUs most crowded?

  1. Idaho – 133% occupied
  2. Alaska – 100% occupied
  3. Maryland – 100% occupied
  4. Maine – 100% occupied
  5. Rhodes Island – 94% occupied
  6. Pennsylvania – 94% occupied
  7. Utah – 93% occupied
  8. Texas – 91% occupied
  9. Massachusetts – 90% occupied
  10. Nevada – 90% occupied

Source: HHS

Official data showed that Idaho’s hospitals are already treating more children than they have beds for, at 160 percent capacity.

Arizona had the second busiest pediatric wards overall, with 825 of the 850 occupied (97 percent).

It was followed by Rhode Island with 223 of 232 beds occupied (96 percent), Nevada, 319 of 339 beds (94 percent), and Utah, 421 of 451 beds (93.3 percent).

Rounding out the eight more than 90 percent full were Kentucky (92.9 percent), Minnesota (91.7 percent), and Texas (90 percent).

For pediatric ICUs, Maine, Maryland, Alaska and Idaho wards were also all full.

At the other end of the scale were Vermont, with 22 of 48 beds occupied (45.8 percent), New Hampshire, 32 of 68 beds (47 percent), and Wyoming, 17 of 35 beds (49 percent).

Lockdowns, face masks and other Covid restrictions robbed children of exposure to “good” germs and the chance to build immunity against seasonal threats.

As a result, US hospitals are now facing a wave of childhood illnesses.

By comparison, adult nursing wards had 80 percent of beds occupied, data showed.

New York City orders residents to re-mask due to flu outbreak

New York City officials are again advising residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like Covid, but even flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Dr. NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan released an advisory today urging the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces. It is not a mandate and will not be enforced by city officials, but some private companies may choose to follow it.

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A press release mentions the increase in Covid, RSV and the flu hitting the city. The Big Apple is currently recording 3,761 daily Covid infections, up 55 percent over the past two weeks. The city confirmed more than 11,000 flu cases during the last week of November.

The move follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent non-Covid respiratory viruses earlier this week.

However, Rhode Island was the only state with hospitals above 90 percent capacity, with 2,046 of 2,192 beds occupied (93.3 percent).

Washington (89 percent), New Hampshire (88.4 percent), Massachusetts (88 percent), and Georgia (87.3 percent) rounded out the top five states for busiest hospitals.

At the other end of the scale was Wyoming (45.8 percent), the only state where less than 50 percent of ward beds were occupied at this time of year.

The more than 6,000 U.S. hospitals report occupancy data to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as of 2020.

DailyMail.com analyzed the December 3 figures – the latest available – to find out where children’s hospitals are most affected.

Doctors have warned that this year’s flu season is one of the worst yet for children’s hospitals.

Children’s hospitals have seen a rise in admissions this year due to recurrent respiratory viruses – sidelined for two years by Covid.

A record 32,773 flu infections were recorded in the penultimate week of November, the latest available date, the highest number for this time of year.

There have been 9 million cases so far this season, estimates suggest – more than all of 2021.

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There are also 7,800 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths, including 14 childhood flu deaths.

Around this time last year, 69.5 percent of children’s beds were occupied, compared to 75 percent today.

Six states had occupied more than 90 percent of their children’s divisions at the time: New Jersey, Virginia, Maine, Arizona, Nevada and Minnesota.

Right now, children’s wards on the West Coast, Texas, and the Midwestern states are feeling the most pressure from recurring seasonal illnesses.

1670618683 299 How busy is YOUR states pediatric hospital Interactive map highlights