Rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations a ‘nightmare,’ United Memorial Medical Center doctor says

HOUSTON – COVID-19 patients are flooding hospitals and most of them are unvaccinated and younger, according to doctors.

“The last couple of weeks have been pretty much a nightmare,” said Dr. Joseph Varon of United Memorial Medical Center.

COVID-19 cases have increased 66% nationwide and in the Houston area, which is fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, accounting for most new cases.

“The reason it’s so formidable, is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci with the White House COVID Task Force.

Varon said hospitalizations are up 500% at his hospital over the past two weeks.

He said all of those patients are unvaccinated and under 50 years old.

“Even people that had COVID a year ago and now they’re having it again and for whatever reason, they elected not to get vaccinated,” said Varon.

He said every day the hospital is admitting two to eight new patients and people are very sick.

“They’re coming in with two and a half to three weeks of symptoms,” he said.

Dr. Varon said he expects to see an increase in cases as kids return to school, especially in the African American and Hispanic communities.

“What I’m seeing a lot of reluctance in getting vaccinations. I’m very concerned that some of the adults that live with these kids are gonna get sick and they will end up in my hospital,” said Varon.

Dr. Varon said he’s on the verge of throwing out thousands of doses of the vaccine because no one wants them.

He encourages people to get vaccinated, but he knows it’ll be very hard to convince them.

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