COVID Cases Spike as Questions Remain About Omicron’s Threat

Dec. 17, 2021 — Leading infectious disorder officials be expecting a surge of COVID-19 situations after the vacations and say Omicron will shortly choose in excess of as the dominant pressure in the United States.

The greatest way to keep protected is by receiving vaccinated and boosted, they say.

“For the unvaccinated, you’re searching at a wintertime of significant illness and demise — for yourselves, family members, and the hospitals who could shortly overwhelm,” White Residence COVID-19 Reaction Coordinator Jeff Zients stated at a news briefing Friday. “We require the American individuals to do their component.”

The Omicron variant has been detected in at least 39 states and seventy five countries, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD.

The pressure is extra transmissible than the already very infectious Delta variant, and whilst there was early proof that it induced extra mild disorder, she stated that is probable for the reason that lots of of those infected have been vaccinated and boosted.

“Although Delta continues to flow into extensively in the United States, Omicron is raising promptly and we be expecting it to grow to be the dominant pressure in the United States, as it has in other countries, in the coming weeks,” Walensky stated.

The U.S. is averaging shut to one,three hundred fatalities from COVID-19 every working day. New situations, fatalities, and hospitalizations are larger now than in the past wintertime — ahead of vaccines have been so extensively available. The New York Instances claimed Friday that new infections in Connecticut and Maine have developed a hundred and fifty% in the earlier 2 weeks, and Ohio and Indiana are looking at hospitalization fees nearing the worst of previous winter’s surge.

Dueling reviews unveiled this 7 days gave bring about for relief and issue about Omicron.

A examine from South Africa unveiled Tuesday shows lower hospitalizations during the initial three weeks of the Omicron wave than during before waves from other variants. That is the fantastic news.

The about news is out of the United Kingdom, exactly where Imperial College London claimed Friday that the chance of re-infection with COVID-19 from Omicron is extra than five periods as high and that situations of Omicron-based mostly COVID-19 are doubling just about every 2 times.

What is extra, the examine “finds no proof of Omicron having lower severity than Delta, judged by both the proportion of individuals screening optimistic who report indications, or by the proportion of situations trying to find hospital treatment after infection. Even so, hospitalization data continues to be pretty constrained at this time,” scientists stated.

“We have no proof that the virus itself is extra mild,” Eric Topol, MD, executive vice president of Scripps Study and editor-in-main of Medscape, WebMD’s sister web page for health and fitness treatment specialists, advised PBS NewsHour. “Until we have that, we have to presume that individuals who you should not have any safety are very vulnerable to receiving pretty unwell.”

The White Residence COVID-19 team continues to urge dad and mom and guardians to get their children vaccinated, in particular in anticipation of a put up-vacation spike. Walensky stated the CDC’s vaccine advisory board fulfilled Thursday to proceed the protection dialogue about COVID-19 vaccinations in children.

So significantly, 20 million children beneath 17 and five million beneath eleven have acquired their pictures.

“Looking exclusively at vaccine protection data from in excess of 50,000 children five-eleven several years outdated, we found no proof of critical protection concerns,” Walensky stated.

Leading infectious disorder skilled Anthony Fauci, MD, highlighted the importance of receiving vaccinated and boosted to stay away from critical disorder from Delta and Omicron.

“We’re in a problem exactly where we are now dealing with a pretty important Delta surge and we are searching in excess of our shoulder at an oncoming Omicron surge,” he stated. “The optimum safety is absolutely vaccinated as well as a improve.”