JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Doctors at the Henry Ford Hospital in Jackson say that despite being more than two and a half years into the pandemic, hospitalizations remain steady.
Patients with the virus are filling up around 10% of hospital beds.
“It’s pretty devastating for health care providers to see that amount of suffering still happening,” said Dr. Courtland Keteyian, a Preventive Medicine physician at Henry Ford Health Jackson.
Dr. Keteyian’s been treating coronavirus patients since the pandemic started. He said that while hospitalizations are down significantly from the pandemic’s peak, they are still seeing around 20 to 30 people hospitalized at one time.
Those hospitalizations include several people in the ICU.
“That’s been pretty consistent. It’s ticked up a little bit as we’ve gotten post-Thanksgiving and into the colder weather,” said Dr. Keteyian.
While 1 in 10 hospital beds are going to COVID-19 patients in Jackson, new research from CDC analysts shows nationwide that 9 out of 10 people who are dying from the virus are ages 65 and older.
That’s the highest since the pandemic began.
“It’s always been disproportionate And it’s just more disproportionate now,” said Dr. Keteyian.
Experts say there’s no clear answer yet as to why, but there are some theories.
“One group really responds better, younger people. And older folks still just don’t respond quite as well. So, it really I think comes down to differences just inherent strength of the immune system,” said Dr. Keteyian.
Doctor Keteyian says more tools to treat the virus and built-up immunity has also helped the younger population, but still years later there is a lot left to learn.
“Over time the variants have gotten easier to spread but not more severe. There’s nothing that really ensures that will continue to be the case. I think a lot of us are still waiting to see if there will be a more severe variant.”
For now, the hospital said with cooler temperatures approaching, it is prepared if more cases come in.