CDC study highlights how quickly the omicron variant is infecting Americans, WHO warns testing remains crucial 2022-04-27 12:03:00


A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights how many Americans have contracted COVID-19, and how dramatically the number has increased since the arrival of the highly contagious omicron variant late last year.

The report published on Tuesday found that the number of cases was particularly striking in children, with three out of four infected, bringing the total to 75% in February from about 45% in December. As reported by the Associated Press.

Among Americans of all ages, nearly 34% showed signs of a previous infection in December, rising to 58% in February.

The researchers examined blood samples from more than 200,000 Americans and looked for antibodies to fight viruses caused by infections, not vaccines.

“I was expecting it to increase. I didn’t expect it to increase this much,” said Dr. Christy Clark, co-leader of the CDC team that tracks the spread of coronavirus infection.

The study found that older adults were less likely to have contracted infections in the past. For those 65 or older, 19% had previous signs of infection in December and 33% in February. That may be because older adults have higher vaccination rates and may be more likely to take other COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds, Clark said.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials stressed that previously infected people should get COVID-19 vaccines, as they remain the best protection against severe illness and death.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the scientific understanding of its transmission and prevention has evolved. Daniela Hernandez of the Wall Street Journal explains the strategies that have worked to stop the spread of the virus outdated in 2022. Illustration: Adele Morgan

COVID-19 cases are rising again in the US, driven by the BA.2 variant of the omicron, along with two seemingly more contagious sub-variables. The two, called BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, were highlighted by New York state health officials recently.

The average number of cases in the United States is 50,791 per day, According to the New York Times tracker, 61% more than two weeks ago. Cases are increasing in nearly all states and territories, and in some cases have doubled since the beginning of April.

The average number of hospital admissions in the country is 15,908 people per day, an increase of 6% over the past two weeks, although it is still close to the lowest level since the early weeks of the pandemic. The daily death toll has fallen below 400 to an average of 362.

But the official death toll is expected to reach 1 million within weeks, and experts warn that with many other parts of the world still not immune, new species may emerge.

look now: Many Americans feel the pandemic is over, but new highly contagious and immune-evading variants are likely, says White House COVID response coordinator

Vice President Kamala Harris Tested positive Tuesday for COVID-19 Her press secretary, Kirsten Allen, said in a statement that she has undergone rapid tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Harris has not shown any symptoms, will be isolated and will continue to work from the vice president’s home. Allen added that she has not been in close contact with the president or the first lady due to their recent travel schedules.

Meanwhile, Pfizer
+ 1.45%

And the German partner BioNTech

It has asked the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster dose of COVID-19 for children ages 5 to 11.

The companies said data from Phase 2/3 clinical trials did not result in new safety concerns when children in this age group received a booster dose six months after completing the initial series of shots.

Corona virus update: The Daily MarketWatch Tour curates and reports on all the latest developments every day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• Shanghai city authorities said on Wednesday that they will begin rounds of COVID-19 testing over the next few days to identify neighborhoods that can be safely allowed limited freedom of movement, The Associated Press reported. Residents in Beijing are watching carefully to see if the capital will shut down. China has reported 14,222 new cases, most of them asymptomatic. The country has been struggling with its biggest outbreak since then The first outbreak was reported in Wuhan in late December 2019. The flow of industrial goods has also been disrupted by the suspension of access to Shanghai, home to the world’s busiest port, and other industrial cities including Changchun and Jilin in northeastern China. This phenomenon appears frequently in US corporate earnings during the current first quarter season.

Beijing is racing to test more than 20 million people as residents scramble to stock up on food. WSJ’s Jonathan Cheng shows what life in the capital is like and breaks down the potential ripple effects if officials cannot control the fast-spreading virus. Photo: Kevin Fryer/Getty Images

• The EU is transitioning from the emergency phase of a pandemic where testing should be targeted and monitoring of COVID-19 cases should be similar to sample-based influenza monitoring, Reuters reported. This shift comes amid a steady decline in cases and deaths and the vaccination and promotion of more than 70% of the commercial bloc’s population.

• The European Union’s move comes at a time when the World Health Organization warns that the sharp decline in testing around the world is leaving it blind to the continuing spread of the virus and potentially dangerous mutations, The Guardian reported. The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told reporters that while the decline in case numbers and deaths is a welcome trend, they may also be the result of significant reductions in testing. “As many countries reduce testing, WHO is receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing,” he said. “This is making us increasingly blind to transmission and evolution patterns. When it comes to a deadly virus, ignorance is not a blessing.”

• Gilead Sciences Corporation

It has steadily expanded its use of its COVID treatment Phychlor, while much of the nation’s attention has turned to the arrival of new drugstore antivirals, MarketWatch’s Jamie Lee reported on Wednesday. So far this year, the Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for Veklury as an outpatient treatment for COVID-19 patients at high risk of hospitalization or death; The regulator has upgraded the license to full approval for use in young children; and the World Health Organization Review Its conditional recommendation is for Veklury, saying it is now recommending treatment for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of hospitalization. Gilad first Received emergency permission Remdesivir, as it was then called, was ordered as a treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients on May 1, 2020, making it the first new drug shown to have helped get COVID-19 patients to hospital during one of the darkest points in the pandemic. The company will report first-quarter earnings on Thursday.

With the rollout of the fourth doses of Covid vaccines, some are questioning whether the general public will need them. At the heart of this debate are the mysterious T cells. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains the role of T cells in Covid immunity and how they bind to antibodies. Illustration: Adele Morgan

This is what the numbers say

The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 passed 511.3 million on Tuesday, while the death toll rose above 6.22 million. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 81.1 million cases and more than 992,028 deaths.

The Tracking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It shows that 219.4 million people living in the United States have been fully vaccinated, corresponding to 66.1% of the total population. But only 100.2 million have been boosted, which is 45.7% of the vaccinated population.