COVID- The number of fatalities in the United States has risen to roughly 1,500 each day.
New cases of COVID-19 in the United States have skyrocketed to their highest level on record, at over 265,000 per day on average, more than a year after the vaccine was introduced, thanks mostly to the highly infectious omicron form.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the number of new cases each day has more than quadrupled in the last two weeks, surpassing the previous high of 250,000 established in mid-January.
The virus’s fast-spreading mutant variant has put a fog over Christmas and New Year’s, causing towns to curtail or cancel celebrations only weeks after it appeared that Americans were ready to enjoy a nearly typical holiday season. Thousands of flights have been canceled due to virus-related personnel shortages.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious-disease specialist in the United States, said on Wednesday that modest house gatherings among vaccinated and boosted relatives and friends are not necessary.
“However, if your intentions are to attend a 40- to 50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the lights and whistles with everyone embracing and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year,” he said, “I would strongly propose that we do not do that this year.”
Many Americans have been tested for COVID-19 because of the fear of omicron and the desire to spend the holidays with friends and family.
Aravindh Shankar, 24, travelled from West Lafayette, Indiana, to San Jose for the holidays to be with his family. Despite the fact that he felt good, he opted to be tested on Wednesday just to be safe after flying.
Before he went to a location in a parking lot near the San Jose airport, he and his family spent almost an entire day looking for a testing appointment for him.
“It was actually surprisingly hard,” Shankar said about trying to find a test. “Some people have it harder for sure.”
The situation is bleak everywhere in the world, particularly in Europe, with World Health Organization director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warning of a “tsunami” of cases if omicron and the delta type combine. He predicted that this would impose “immense strain on weary health personnel and health systems on the verge of collapsing.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans in hospitals with COVID-19 is approximately 60,000, or roughly half of what it was in January.
While hospitalizations occasionally lag after cases, the statistics might indicate both the vaccine’s protection and the chance that omicron isn’t making patients sick as much as prior versions.
COVID- Over the last two weeks, the number of fatalities in the United States has risen from an average of 1,200 per day to roughly 1,500.
According to Bob Bednarczyk, a professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University, “public health experts will be closely watching the numbers in the coming week for indications of the vaccines’ effectiveness in preventing serious illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and relieving strain on exhausted health care workers.”
Even if the efficacy of the injections reduces with time, CDC data shows that the unvaccinated are hospitalized at substantially greater rates than those who have been immunized, he added.
“If we’re able to weather this surge with hopefully minimal disruptions to the overall health care system, that is a place where vaccines are really showing their worth,” Bednarczyk said.
Hospitalization rates are unlikely to return to their historic highs, according to Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Health Security. Since last year, vaccines and therapies have made it simpler to control the virus’s spread and reduce dangerous side effects in those who have had breakthrough infections.
“Its going to take some time for people to get attuned to the fact that cases don’t matter the same way they did in the past,” Adalja said. “We have a lot of defense against it.”
But even with fewer people hospitalized compared with past surges, the virus can wreak havoc on hospitals and health care workers, he added.
“In a way, those hospitalizations are worse because they’re all preventable,” he said.
This week, many European nations, including France, Greece, the United Kingdom, and Spain, reported high case numbers, triggering a ban on music at New Year’s festivities in Greece and a fresh campaign by French authorities to urge vaccination.
According to the World Health Organization, new COVID-19 infections climbed by 11% last week compared to the week before, with roughly 4.99 million cases reported between December 20 and 26. However, the United Nations’ health office observed a drop in cases in South Africa, where omicron was discovered little over a month ago.