June 20, 2024

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Covid Live updates: Omicron news, restrictions and more

Covid Live updates: Omicron news, restrictions and more
credit…Thelo Schmolijn/Reuters

Experts warn that another wave of the Corona virus may be imminent in the United States, fueled by the more contagious sub-Omicron variant that is spreading rapidly in Europe, although they said the trend was more cause for caution than concern.

This month, the Omicron variant began its second sweep across Europe, with previous virus surges having been harbingers of what was to come in the United States. Many countries thought they were free from the worst of Covid and raced to lift restrictions in February and March, but the highly transmissible Omicron alternative, BA.2, is contributing to the new increase.

Sharp increases have not led to a widespread increase in hospitalizations in Europe, although the number of Covid patients is rising in a few countries, including Austria, Britain and the Netherlands, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. Our world in data. and BA. 2 Doesn’t seem to cause more distress The disease is from BA.1, and existing vaccines are effective against it.

Some countries, including Germany And the Austria, is again approaching or exceeding record levels of caseloads. The per capita caseload in Europe was already much higher than in any other region of the world when it began to resurface earlier this month. The continent now records 95 cases per 100,000 people, up from 87 on March 3; The United States and Canada, for comparison, have 10 cases per 100,000 people, according to New York Times database.

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All 50 US states made the same choice By the beginning of this month, lifting the overall inner mask states after the retreat of the winter Omicron wave. The number of cases in the country has continued to decline since then, reaching levels this week not seen since last summer, according to the Times . database.

But throughout the pandemic, Covid trends in the United States lag behind Europe by a few weeks. US wastewater data is already showing signs of a new surge.

Dr. Wafaa Al-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University, said the data is an indication that caution is needed.

“But I wouldn’t say people should be upset just yet,” she said on Wednesday.

Since people excrete the virus through their faeces, wastewater can be used to predict where the coronavirus will spread or will spread and whether a new species is spreading.

About 38 percent of active sewage sampling sites in the United States reported an increase in coronavirus levels from February 26 to March 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wastewater data trackerwhich surveys 698 wastewater sites across the country.

The BA.1 variant is still the dominant variant of Omicron in the United States, but BA.2 is more contagious and spreads quickly, so Dr. Al-Sadr said it’s important for Americans to be vaccinated and boosted. “This will protect us from what comes next,” she said.

BA.2 is only responsible for a fraction of coronavirus cases in the United States, but that share is increasing, according to Estimates From the CDC, the prevalence of the variant in the United States depends on a number of factors, including the people’s current immunity and the severity of the variant.

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Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead for coronavirus response, said BA.2 was one of the factors that led to the recent global spike in cases, Due to the high number of cases in Asia and Europe. Other factors, she said, include the lifting of pandemic restrictions, vaccine resistance, and misinformation.

She said in a. “We have massive amounts of misinformation out there.” news briefing Wednesday. “Misinformation that Omicron is mild, misinformation that the epidemic is over, misinformation that this is the last alternative we will have to deal with.”

Sophie Downs Contribute to the preparation of reports.