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April 29, 2022

Twitter: Omicron wave in the US and more

Hospital Management lists five of the most popular tweets on healthcare in Q1 2022 based on data from GlobalData’s Healthcare Influencer Platform.

The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 150 healthcare experts tracked by GlobalData’s Healthcare Influencer platform during the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.

1. Eric Topol’s tweet on Omicron wave in the US being more severe than Europe

Eric Topol, a physician and scientist, shared an article on the Omicron wave in the US appearing to be more severe than in the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and other European countries. Experts claim that a majority of the cases are being reported from communities with low vaccination or booster dose rates. Additionally, an increase in hospitalisation rates and intensive care unit (ICU) data confirm that the Omicron variant maybe more severe in the US than the Delta variant.

Experts claim that the reasons behind the surge in Omicron cases in the US are different from those in Europe. Firstly, the vaccination rates in Europe are higher than the US, and secondly Europe has ensured the vaccination and administration of booster doses for the elderly population. Another reason for the surge in cases in the US maybe due to the lingering effects of the Delta wave in New York and other US states.

A significant pattern observed from the surveillance data in Europe found that the Omicron variant was spreading among vaccinated individuals who remain well-protected despite the immune-evasive properties of the variant. In the US, however, the variant is spreading more among unvaccinated individuals who were eight times more likely to be diagnosed than the vaccinated, the article highlighted.

Username: Eric Topol

Twitter handle: @EricTopol

Likes: 1,464

Retweets: 723

2. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw’s tweet on surge in Omicron cases in India

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company, shared an article Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of India’s capital city Delhi, appealing the public to not panic amid a rise in Omicron cases in the city, citing hospitalisation cases to be low. Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted that all Indian states need to track the hospitalisation and ICU bed occupancy rates with the rising numbers, in order to understand the severity and transmissibility of the variant.

Delhi reported the second-highest number of cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant after Maharashtra state, the article highlighted. About 6,360 active cases were reported in the city, according to Kejriwal. Additionally, just 240 hospital beds were occupied with asymptomatic patients or those suffering with mild symptoms.

The article further detailed that Omicron infections were reported from across 23 states, with active Covid cases rising from 2,000 in December to 6,000 in January 2022. Maharashtra reported the highest number of cases with a total of 460 active cases in January, while Delhi reported 351 new Covid cases.

Username: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Twitter handle: @kiranshaw

Likes: 1,453

Retweets: 324

3. Rochelle P. Walensky’s tweet on the effectiveness of a third Covid-19 vaccine dose in averting urgent care visits and hospitalisations

Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shared a study on the effectiveness of a third Covid-19 vaccine dose in preventing Covid-related emergency department and urgent care visits, as well as hospitalisations. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) found that during periods of both the Delta variant and the Omicron variant, a third vaccine dose prevented emergency department and urgent care encounters by 94% and 92% respectively. In addition, a third vaccine dose also helped in preventing Covid-related hospitalisations by 94% and 90% respectively.

Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was found by analysing 222,772 encounters from 383 emergency departments and urgent care units, and 87,904 hospitalisations from 259 hospitals among adults aged 18 years and older across ten US states between 26 August 2021 and 5 January 2022. The findings revealed that VE dropped during the Omicron-predominant period in comparison to the VE recorded during the Delta-predominant period.

Additionally, VE was markedly low during both the periods in patients who were double-vaccinated with mRNA Covid-19 vaccines for more than 180 days before the medical visits compared with those who were recently vaccinated, the study noted. However, VE was found to increase following a third vaccine dose during both the periods.

Username: Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH

Twitter handle: @CDCDirector

Likes: 392

Retweets: 161

4. Eli Perencevich’s tweet on the surge in Covid-19 hospitalisations burdening healthcare systems in the US

Eli Perencevich, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa, tweeted an article on how the Delta variant along with the Omicron variant led to a surge in cases thereby completely overburdening the healthcare system in the US. Data revealed that Covid-19 hospitalisations rose slowly to about 65,000 across the US during the Christmas period but soared to 110,000 in January due to the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant after the Delta variant, the article detailed.

The daily case counts tripled in the first two weeks of the month, with CDC forecasts claiming that by the end of January, Covid-related hospitalisations would range between 24,700 and 53,700 daily. One ICU patient is usually assigned two nurses to attend to them, but the surge in cases forced four patients to be assigned under one nurse thereby diminishing the quality of care for patients. Furthermore, a huge proportion of the hospital staff contracted the virus in the latest surge compared to previous surges. Labour shortages and lack of skilled workforce has further compounded the problems for the healthcare systems.

Username: Eli Perencevich

Twitter handle: @eliowa

Likes: 370

Retweets: 129

5. Nathan Stall’s tweet on the need to repeal Bill 124 to end Ontario’s nursing crisis

Nathan Stall, a doctor and a researcher, shared an article on how the nursing crisis in Ontario, Canada, can only be addressed by repealing Bill 124 that was passed in 2019. The bill limits wage increases for registered nurses and other public-sector workers at a maximum rate of 1% for three years, which has significantly impacted their real income. The article highlighted that the only way to support the undervalued and burned-out staff was to unfreeze their compensation.

Furthermore, the surge in Omicron cases is pushing the limits of the nurses working at intensive care, critical care, and hospital emergency rooms, the article detailed. Experts claim that Ontario will need to hire about 22,000 registered nurses to catch up with the rest of Canada. Registered nurses are quitting their jobs, leaving the province, and even their profession, in some cases, after being financially penalised and burnt out.

Username: Nathan Stall

Twitter handle: @NathanStall

Likes: 286 Retweets: 87

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