A new, rare strain of the coronavirus is changing the way we live and die, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday.
The new strain, dubbed MRSA-V4, was discovered in Florida and the West Coast earlier this year, causing an explosion in the spread of the virus, and a spike in hospitalizations for infections caused by it.
But the virus is only one symptom of a much larger problem.
In the wake of the pandemic, many Americans, many of them children, have lost access to the vital services they need to keep their families alive.
That has created a dilemma: Can parents be sure that their children will be safe if they get sick?
A group of pediatricians, parents, health care providers and researchers say it is time to change that.
The problem with the current system is that parents are being asked to be the primary care providers, and there are not enough services to meet that need, said Dr. Katherine S. Sacks, who directs the pediatric infectious diseases department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“If we’re going to address this crisis, we need to change the system, and we need a system that is accountable to parents,” Sacks said.
The idea is to create a system where parents can directly take on the role of primary care provider for their children.
It would be a system of care that’s accountable to them, and it would allow for parents to have more autonomy over their child’s care and their finances, said Jennifer M. Smith, a professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University and one of the experts who is helping to design the system.
Sacks and others say the solution would be to shift responsibility for care to parents, and they are not alone in their concern.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one-third of pediatric deaths in the U.S. were caused by other causes, such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition.
In a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Eric D. Katz and colleagues said the pandemics of the 1980s and 1990s, the pandoches of the past decade, and the recent pandemic have brought the health care system in the United States closer to collapse.
In short, the researchers said the current crisis is a direct result of the lack of health care resources.
As parents become increasingly reliant on healthcare, the burden of caring for sick and dying children and other children in need is on the shoulders of the healthcare system, which needs to invest in the long-term care of its patients, said Katz.
“It’s a problem that we’ve had for decades,” Katz said.
Sack, who is also the senior director for research and policy at the National Institutes of Health, said that as a pediatrician and as a member of the National Academy of Pediatrics, she was deeply concerned about the state of the system in Florida.
“We have no answers to this problem because there is no answer,” she said.
“We have to figure out how to improve this system.”
The CDC, in conjunction with the University of Florida, launched a research effort to help answer that question.
The study, called the Maternal-Infant Health, Incubation and Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Initiative, will be released in December and will look at the health of the mothers in the study, their babies, their nursing mothers and their babies’ grandparents.
The researchers hope the study will shed light on the factors that are causing the pandiches of recent decades, and help determine how we can improve the system and improve the lives of all Americans.SACK said it is important to remember that the pandecys are just the tip of the iceberg of what is going on in our society.
“You need to be aware that we’re still in the early stages of this pandemic,” SACK said.
“The question is what we do now to make sure we can recover, how do we make sure that our children are well cared for and safe?”