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Black Americans hospitalizations were four times whites during omicron wave: CDC

This picture taken during doctor's examination shows the hand of a fully intubated African American adult man in the ICU section of Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut on January 18, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

African American adults have been hospitalized at a higher rate than whites during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The CDC report released on Friday showed that in a period beginning on Dec. 19, 2021, and ending on Jan. 31, 2022, when omicron had become the dominant variant of the coronavirus, African American adults were hospitalized at a rate of 94.8 per 100,000 people compared to 24.8 per 100,000 for white adults.

The report showed hospitalization rates for Blacks reached the highest level for any racial or ethnic group since the start of the pandemic.

The hospitalization rate for Black adults was "the highest rate observed among any racial and ethnic group during the pandemic."

The CDC noted in its study that the US government needed to pay more attention to the Blacks and remove the obstacles for their better health.

"Removing barriers to vaccination access among persons with disproportionately higher hospitalizations rates from COVID-19, including Black adults, is an urgent public health priority," it warned. 

African Americans have faced large disparities in terms of cases of infection and the deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is due to a combination of factors, including limited access to quality healthcare for Black Americans and an increased number of them working in frontline jobs and positions which have higher exposure to the virus. 

Earlier reports by top US public health researchers had also emphasized that the large disparities between Blacks and whites in the country run deep.

According to these experts, African Americans had higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease than other groups, and black children have a 500% higher death rate from asthma compared to white children. The health experts believe Black Americans' poor living locations were a main cause of disease.

A medical worker tends to a patient who has COVID-19 in a negative pressure room in the ICU ward at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts on January 4, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

The location where Blacks lived determined their chances of having access to high-quality education, employment, housing, fresh foods, or outdoor space, which are all contributing factors to health.

US public health experts say in order to eliminate the health equity gap between Blacks and whites, the links between racism and poor health needed to be recognized and addressed by officials.


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