An increase in Covid cases in the U.S. means the Omicron has expired

THEThe Omicron wave slowed earlier this year, with many experts expecting the United States earlier this year. release type. Sure, we’re not done with Covid, but maybe we’d have a decent rest.

Looks like that break is over.

Infections that started in places like Northeast and Puerto Rico are now spreading to other parts of the country. The number of cases is increasing and decreasing, but the concern is that hospitalizations are increasing. 20% higher more than two weeks. The death toll has reached 350 per day.

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David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that despite the increase in morbidity, hospitalization and overall mortality remained relatively low compared to the previous pandemic, reflecting the level of immunity in the population.

“In some ways, it’s encouraging because we’re starting to see a difference between the number of cases and the number of hospitalizations and deaths,” Dowdy said. “But it’s a little disappointing that we’re going through all this, and we’re still seeing a flat line and an increase in the number of people hospitalized and the number of deaths.”

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In particular, the United States is now at a different time than in the previous period of the pandemic. Although the number of cases dropped from 30,000 at the end of March to 80,000 per day, they are still rising from a much lower and much lower level than at the beginning of this year. Vaccines, especially booster ones, continue to provide extensive protection against the worst effects of Covid-19, despite the development of the virus. The growing availability of antiviral Paxlovid is helping to put people at risk so sick and hospitalized. most people at least there is some level of protection against Covid-19 vaccination, previous infection, or both, which, as Dowdy points out, reduces the likelihood of cases leading to serious consequences.

If the prevalence is higher, some will lead to hospitalization and death, even lower than before.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the increase and decrease of disasters – climate, behavior and mitigation efforts (or lack thereof) among them. Researchers are trying to say what the recent increase in the duration of protection and the ongoing evolution of the virus.

People can become infected again if their immune system is weakened or if the virus undergoes a mutation that allows it to secretly pass through the body’s immune system. Experts in the current epidemic believe that both factors may play a role: Although the protection against severe disease is good, the ability to prevent infection has been declining for several months. And while the first Omicron wave is caused by the BA.1 subline current growth in cases is basically BA.2 and the spinof, increasingly known as BA.2.12.1. Not only are these variants more efficient transmitters than BA.1, but they are also quite different from previous strains of the virus and can evade human immunity and cause infections.

“Why is this happening?” said Jacob Lemie, an infectious disease doctor at Massachusetts Hospital who is looking at options. Are the versions of the novel so different, or is the immunity so temporary? “We don’t know, but it raises very important scientific questions,” Lemierre said.

Answering such questions will help us to understand the future of our relationship with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Does this mean, for example, that communities will face a new epidemic in a few months, especially with the emergence of a more mutated virus?

Evidence for this hypothesis did not come from the United States alone. Suffering from a major BA.1 wave in South Africa, we are now seeing another case (and to a much lesser extent hospitalization) of other Omicron subline, BA.4 and BA.5.

The current rate of infection is different from previous waves. If they were caused by completely new variants that appeared in the remote points of the SARS-2 family tree, now various Omicron branches are igniting new outbreaks. This is “genetic drift” The closer you get to how flu strains develop.

“Perhaps what we’ll see may be waves of these subvariants,” said Jonathan Abraham, a microbiology assistant at Harvard Medical School.

Complicating matters is the fact that scientists rely on the analysis of epidemics. There are more official cases of missing infections, testing programs have been postponed, people believe in home tests or they have such easy cases that they are not tested.

Even hospitalization data are vague. As the spread of the virus in the community increases, some people who go to the hospital for surgery may be tested positive for SARS-2 and have it officially registered. Some states are monitoring who is hospitalized for a Covid-19, who objected to hospitalization with the COVID-19. The Massachusetts BoardFor example, about 1 in 3 patients estimated to have been “hospitalized primarily for Covid-19-related illness”. (An additional wrinkle: Even if someone is hospitalized for a chronic illness, Covid may aggravate it to the point where it needs to be taken.)

World health officials also warn of the dangers of reducing surveillance efforts. Some systems built for testing and sequencing the virus have begun to fail, and scientists say the world does not understand how the virus mutates and what dangers these changes could pose.

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director for Coved-19 at the World Health Organization, said: “This Tuesday is a serious setback for our ability to determine because testing rates have fallen, so our sequencing rates have fallen.” and BA.5, noting that only a few hundred of each were shared sequences.

BA.4 and BA.5 appear to be able to compete with BA.2, Van Kerhove said, but it is unknown whether countries with BA.2 waves will be weaker than BA.4 and BA.4 waves. So far, none of the Omicron strains appear to cause more severe disease than the average BA.1.

One reason experts expect a break this spring is that millions of people in the United States were infected during its BA wave. but the recent studies In South Africa and elsewhere, BA.1 infection does not provide cross-protection from other options, meaning that people may not be able to withstand another Omicron subline infection. The combination of vaccination with BA.1 infection, however, provided broader, stronger protection.

Melanie Ott, a virologist at the Gladstone Institute, says what is happening now could be a premonition of what lies ahead. The variant begins to rotate, leading to a slight increase in disease, and then to another option that can overcome it, probably better in causing infections in protective people. Such a pattern may look different everywhere.

“The virus is doing what viruses do and adapting to a changing immune landscape,” Ott said.

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