Mon, 26 Jul 2021

HOUSTON, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. city of Houston is seeing the start of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as hospitalization and new cases are on the rise, health experts said Tuesday.

Texas Medical Center (TMC) on Tuesday hosted a brief discussion about the latest COVID-19 trends, breakthrough cases and the impact of the Delta variant in the Houston area.

During the discussion, TMC President and CEO Bill McKeon said that hospitalization rates in the medical center and the positivity rate are climbing, resulting from the emergence of the Delta variant.

"We are clearly seeing the beginning of a fourth wave of this pandemic, which is alarming at best," local media quoted McKeon as saying.

Both Houston Methodist and Memorial Hermann, two large hospital systems in the Houston area, are reporting big jumps in hospitalizations since the 4th of July holiday and nearly all new cases and hospitalizations are among people who are not vaccinated, health leaders said.

Paul Klotman, President and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine, discussed the breakthrough cases, meaning a fully vaccinated person contracting the virus. According to Klotman, there is a very small number of breakthrough cases.

Explaining that none of the vaccines are 100 percent effective, he anticipated that "5 percent of people are going to be infected, even though they've been vaccinated."

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