TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – While COVID cases are on the rise across the United States, Tampa General Hospital’s Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI) has not only seen an uptick in cases, but hospitalizations as well.
“It used to be around 10 patients, then it went up to 30 and now we are up to 56 patients today,” said Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, Medical Director for GEDI at Tampa General Hospital.
More than 90% of the patients are unvaccinated and most of them range in age from 20 to 50-years-old.
“It’s heartbreaking to see we have a 17-year-old, 20-year-old, 30-year-old, 40-year-old. It’s heartbreaking to see them actually be admitted to the hospital,” added Dr. Lakshmi.
The Department of Health in Hillsborough County says 46% of residents 12-years and older have at least one dose of the vaccine, while 38% are fully vaccinated.
“Our cases, hospitalizations, even deaths are all going up while our vaccination numbers are going down; these things are very directly correlated,” said Dr. Douglas Holt, Medical Director, Department of Health Hillsborough County.
Dr. Lakshmi tells 8 On Your Side she is worried as the Delta variant continues to spread rapidly.
“The way the Delta variant is panning out, if you’re are vaccinated you might get a head cold, if you’re not vaccinated, you go through the whole thing of lung disease, ventilator, it’s really heartbreaking,” said Dr. Lakshmi.
Dr. Lakshmi is urging those who have not been vaccinated yet to get one. She said if people are nervous, they should talk with their doctor or a trusted medical professional and not take advice from social media.