Covid hospitals are up 20% in the past month as US prepares for wave of holiday bugs
COVID-19-related hospitalizations have surged in the past month as the holidays are in full swing and a new threat reaches America in the form of the Omicron variant.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus every day, a jump from the 40,000 recorded three weeks ago.
The recent surge in hospitalizations comes as the number of cases also rises across much of the country, and the nation prepares for what could be another wave of Covid after the holiday season.
A new threat to the nation has also emerged as the first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which could be the most contagious strain yet and may be vaccine evasive, was sequenced in California on Wednesday.
Hospital admissions in the US are up nearly 20% in the past three weeks, and the number could continue to grow as the holiday season is in full swing and the Omicron variant makes its way to the country for the first time. Pictured: The CDC’s daily hospitalization data since August 2020
The Omicron variant was first discovered in the US on Wednesday, when it was discovered that a person who had recently traveled from South Africa and tested positive in San Francisco had it.
The CDC reports that, on average, more than 47,000 Americans are hospitalized each day due to complications caused by COVID-19, of which about 54,000 are currently hospitalized.
According to official data, on Nov. 10, about 40,000 Americans were hospitalized because of the virus — a 17 percent jump in just three weeks.
During this time, cases and deaths in the United States have slowly risen, although recent gaps in reporting caused by the Thanksgiving holiday make an accurate picture of the past week impossible.
According to the most recent data, the US averages about 80,000 new Covid cases per day and 900 deaths per day, although these are likely undercounts.
The recent surge in Covid hospitalizations is no surprise, and some health experts believe it could get worse as the holiday season continues.
Last year, the holiday season preceded the worst Covid wave to date, with the country having an average of more than 250,000 cases per day at one point in early January.
While widespread adoption of the vaccines should ensure it doesn’t come to that this winter — with the CDC reporting that 70 percent of Americans have received at least one shot and 60 percent have been fully vaccinated — there will likely be a jump in the number of cases. take place.
The Omicron variant has also arrived in the US and now poses a risk to all Americans, even the vaccinated.
The mutant virus strain, first discovered last week in South Africa but may have come from Botswana or somewhere in Europe, is the more mutated variant discovered so far.
It has 50 mutations, including more than 30 on the spike protein, leading many experts to fear it could evade vaccine protection.
Early data on Omicron from South Africa is promising, with cases of the variant appearing to be relatively mild compared to those of other strains. Pictured: A man in Joplin, Missouri, is being treated in a hospital on Aug. 3
Some drug manufacturers have warned that their products may not be as effective against Omicron as other strains such as Delta.
BioNTech chief Dr. Ugar Sahin said Tuesday that his company’s vaccine — a joint effort with Pfizer — may prevent hospitalization from Covid, but may not be as effective at preventing infection from Omicron as other variants.
Regeneron, makers of an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody drug used to treat Covid, also said the drug may not be as effective against the new strain.
However, experts are warning people not to panic as little is yet known about the species, or how dangerous it is, and early data from South Africa shows that cases of the species are relatively small compared to others.
Some experts have suggested that more data on the variant and how dangerous it is may become available in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the first case of the virus was sequenced in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday.
A vaccinated person who had recently returned from a trip to South Africa on November 22 tested positive for the virus on November 29.
The federal government has taken drastic measures to prevent the variant from spreading across America, starting with a ban on travel to the country from seven South African countries from Monday.
The CDC has asked US planes to give them the names of all people who have entered the country from eight African countries deemed to be at risk from the variant.
President Biden has also considered forcing all international travelers to the country to quarantine for seven days, regardless of vaccine or testing status.
A total of 371 cases of Omicron have been confirmed in 24 countries worldwide.