COVID-19 is on the rise again as sub-variants of the Omicron variant become more common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases is up 26% from last week – a triple increase from last month.
At least four sub-variants of Omicron are causing concern as they have proven to be more contagious than previous mutations. As reported by the CDC, BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 are currently the most dominant, accounting for 50.9% and 47.5% of all COVID cases, respectively. America Today.
The agency said the trigger for new infections was also the weakening of immunity among previously vaccinated people and those previously infected with the virus, as well as the relaxation of mask requirements. coronavirus briefing Wednesday.
Director Rochelle Walensky pointed out that about a third of Americans currently live in an area with moderate or high rates of COVID-19. She added that on average in the US, about 3,000 people are hospitalized daily for the virus, and 275 people die from COVID-19.
The CDC urges residents in areas with high infection and hospitalization rates to wear face masks in closed public places. It also encourages Americans to get vaccinated or to get a booster vaccine if they are fully vaccinated.
But the biggest concern is people who have been previously infected with COVID-19. An article published in the journal “Nature” He noted Wednesday that when it comes to infection prior to COVID-19, unvaccinated people have little cross-variant immunity.
“In the unvaccinated population, infection with Omicron can be roughly equivalent to receiving a vaccinia vaccine,” said Melanie Ott, director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and senior author of the paper. expression. “It does offer some protection against COVID-19, but not very broadly.”
The study showed that individuals infected with Omicron may only have protection from sub-variants of Omicron and not from other strains of COVID-19 such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants.
“When it comes to other variants that may develop in the future, we cannot predict exactly what will happen, but based on these results, I suspect that unvaccinated people infected with Omicron will have little protection,” Ott said. I said. “But on the contrary, vaccinated individuals are likely to be more broadly protected against future variants, especially if they have had a recent infection.”
The recent reduction in pandemic funding as new vaccines are developed and expected to arrive this fall or winter is compounding the rise in COVID infections, USA Today reports.
Coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha, who started in March, has the goal of making sure that happens. It is working with Congress to raise funds to ensure Americans have access to next-generation vaccines.
“I want to make sure we have enough resources to buy enough vaccines for every American who wants more,” Jha said during the coronavirus briefing at the White House on Wednesday. Said.
“I think that’s absolutely critical. We don’t have the resources to do that right now. So without additional funding from Congress, we won’t be able to buy enough vaccines for every American who wants it when these next-generation vaccines come out in the fall and winter.”
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