Approximately half the patients currently at the hospital for COVID-19 were initially diagnosed for reasons unrelated to the virus, according to a health authority in Florida.
“Jackson Health System hospitals currently have 439 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19,” the Jackson Hospital System reported in a tweet on Monday.
“Of those, 220 patients — or 50% — are admitted to the hospital primarily for non-COVID reasons.”
According to Yahoo, a video from international hospitals reveals how the coronavirus pandemic is straining healthcare systems around the world.
The video provided a rare glimpse at the prevalence of ‘incidental COVID’ in the US.
The White House chief medical advisor, Anthony Fauci, recently urged COVID-19 hospitalization data to be interpreted cautiously, Insider previously reported.
As part of a discussion on admissions of children on Wednesday, he explained that sometimes children would be admitted for “a broken leg, or appendicitis, or something like that,” only to later find out that they had COVID-19.
This type of COVID-19 case currently represents a significant portion of hospital admissions.
On December 28, these types of cases amount to 8,321 COVID-positive cases in England, according to data from the UK National Health Service.
Also, New York Gov. Katy Hochul and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned on Monday that incidental cases could account for a substantial portion of hospitalizations in their states.
“Beginning tomorrow, we’re going to be asking all hospitals to break out for us how many people are being hospitalized because of COVID symptoms [and] how many people … happen to be testing positive,” Hochul announced.
These incidental cases have also made experts warn against underestimating COVID-19 hospitalization data.
Mark Kline, Senior Vice President of the Children’s hospital in New Orleans, tweeted last year that “78% of 915 kids” at six hospitals were hospitalized “not just with, but because of COVID.”
However, he did not mention the hospitals in which these types of cases were present.
According to David Strain, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter medical school, COVID-19 can also worsen whatever a person was admitted for.
“We [have] seen many other people who have been otherwise stable [with] chronic diseases such as heart failure, ulcerative colitis, etc that caught COVID and had a rapid deterioration,” he explained.
“Although they are regarded as ‘incidental Covid’, this sudden deterioration in otherwise stable disease can be attributed to the virus,” he added.