As the United States struggles with the surging Delta variant of Covid-19, one mother has shared her intense frustration after her daughter was hospitalised with the disease following a return to the classroom.
Texas has joined a growing list of US states that are seeing record numbers of hospitalised Covid-19 patients in a surge that is overwhelming doctors and nurses and afflicting a lot more children than earlier waves of the virus.
One of those children is 11-year-old Brennah, who was placed on a ventilator last week at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Her mother Terri Gurganious believes she caught the virus while being back at high school.
In a fiery Facebook post, the mother shared a photo of her daughter now hooked up to a ventilator.
"This right here pisses me off beyond belief. I am so distraught over this," she wrote.
"If we kept our kids home and not sending exposed kids or faculty to school this wouldn’t have happened."
Ms Gurganious called on social media users to share her post in hopes students would return to distance learning.
"I’m so scared for our daughter. I’m not ok and I’m here by myself. Something needs to be done," she wrote.
"Please share this so they shut everything down ... I don’t want another child or family to go through this."
A number of school districts in the state have now closed for at least a week due to growing Covid cases among staff and students, KLTV reported.
Texas has now reported more Covid patients in its hospitals than at any other time since the pandemic began.
According to US Department of Health and Human Services data, more than 14,250 Covid patients were taking up a hospital bed in the state by the end of last week.
At least six other states - Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi and Oregon - have also already broken their hospitalisation records.
Nearly 2,200 US children hospitalized in just the last week. pic.twitter.com/rmKM6v7eFq
— Yaneer Bar-Yam (@yaneerbaryam) August 26, 2021
The surge is largely fuelled by the highly-contagious Delta variant among people who are unvaccinated. In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare rapidly overburdened hospitals.
The highly infectious Covid strain has also caused a sharp increase in child hospitalisations in the US with many of them – including Brennah – too young to get the vaccine, which is available only to those 12 and over.
In a later update, Ms Gurganious said her daughter had "improved dramatically", saying Brennah was a fighter.
"Her lungs look and sound better. They took her off of the paralyzation meds and is now just sedated.
"She opens her eyes some when myself or the staff talks to her," she wrote.
"They are amazed at how well she has responded and how fast. She’s a blessed and lucky girl. If I had waited another day or two we probably wouldn’t of had this outcome."
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