‘We’re stretched to breaking level,’ says Mississippi pulmonologist

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The pulmonologist Dr. Ijlal Babar warned of the poor state of health systems and providers in Mississippi.

“I want the country to know we are tense to the breaking point, that we need help,” said Babar, director of intensive care at Singing River Health in Mississippi.

“We are busy at the moment, our intensive care beds are full, we have a significant number of patients to be admitted to the emergency room.”

In Mississippi, several schools have already been forced to move to distance learning as Covid cases and hospital stays rise across the state. Average daily cases have increased 45% over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins, while hospital admissions increased 40% over the same period, according to the Department of Health. State officials asked the Biden government to send a military hospital ship to relieve the overburdened health system.

Babar told The News with Shepard Smith that he is seeing more younger patients compared to the surge in cases last year.

“The average age is under 50 and their lungs are just as sick or sicker as they were on the previous climbs,” said Babar. “So last year we saw people’s kidneys and livers collapse, and we don’t see that this time, but the lungs are terrible.”

35.4% of Mississippi’s people are fully vaccinated, the second lowest rate in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Babar said he advises patients to get vaccinated but he has received resistance.

“I was told by a patient, a very young patient, that she would rather die than get the vaccine, so let’s see that.”

Babar added that of the few patients with Covid he has seen who have been vaccinated, “no one has been put on a ventilator and almost everyone is discharged.”

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