ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — AdventHealth doctors said Central Floridians should be prepared for a long siege and surge of the latest wave of COVID-19.
The Central Florida hospital system just surpassed its previous peak of the pandemic, which was 841 patients. It now has more than 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
“What’s extraordinary is the speed at which we are currently seeing new cases and unfortunately right now the slope is pretty steep,” said epidemiologist Dr. Vincent Hsu, executive director of infection prevention. “And we haven’t seen the end of it. This is still coming.”
And in a disturbing trend, doctors said several pregnant women have been admitted to the ICU and put on ventilators.
“Most of those in the unit are intubated,” said OBGYN Dr. Michael Cacciatore, chief medical officer. “So we are seeing that, and that’s where those pre-term deliveries, if they’re viable, happen.”
AdventHealth OBGYNs said pregnant women are five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than other women their age because of decreased lung capacity and being more immunocompromised.
The doctors blame misinformation spreading on social media for so many childbearing woman being unvaccinated.
“There’s absolutely nothing out there that suggests it affects fertility,” Cacciatore said.
“The risk of getting COVID and those effects are far, far greater than the side effects of a vaccine,” Hsu added.
Information coming out of Orlando Health is equally as discouraging. Its hospitalizations are nearly five times higher than two months ago.
Both hospitals show about 95% of those being admitted with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
“We are going to see significant numbers and even an increase over the next week or so,” Hsu said. “The long term outlook, of course, is a little bit more muddy.”