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What’s in the winter COVID-19 Surge in the US — and the rest of the world

Winter COVID increased started.

ONE steadily accelerating Cases in countries across the northern hemisphere are a chilling reminder, two years after the new coronavirus was first detected, that the pandemic is seasonal. As it gets colder and people congregate indoors, the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads more easily and infections spike.

But the third COVID winter is the first in which much of the world has all the tools needed to soften the worst effects of a new wave of cases. Safe, effective and — in many countries — abundant Vaccine, as well as antiviral drugs and rapid testing.

Even as epidemiologists watch the number of cases rise as temperatures drop, there is reason for hope. Anthony Alberg, a University of South Carolina epidemiologist, told The Daily Beast: “This winter’s surge in COVID-19 will not be able to repeat what we experienced last winter.

There is even better news. It can COVID may become endemic in several countries in the coming months. That is, a disease that is present and unshakable, but completely manageable without disrupting work, education and travel.

In many places, COVID cases have only dropped from their recent Delta variant highs as the inevitable winter surge kicks in. Germany in the last week register record 38,000 new infections per day. So is the Netherlands record—More than 13,000 new cases per day. Belgium 10,000 new cases per day Not a record, but it’s close.

The winter surge is taking place in the early days in the United States. The Delta wave peaked with about 160,000 new cases per day in the US, then, in late October, dropped to 70,000 daily additional cases. And that’s where the new case rate stagnated for several weeks. Now the rate is going up again. Health officials are recording 80,000 cases a day — and the trend line is bending up very quickly.

But the number of cases is scam. However, many new infections across the hemisphere are asymptomatic. In those cases, the authorities only know about them because the checks are more readily available and faster than ever.

“We can say with confidence that endemism is now within reach.”

And while infections are spiked, deaths Not skyrocketed — at least not nearly by much. Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrology at the University of Washington Health Institute, told The Daily Beast: “In some places, the cases will be close to what we saw last summer, but death wouldn’t be that high.

Mortality is what experts call a “lagging indicator”. That is, an increase in the number of deaths is often followed by an increase in the number of infections, up to several weeks. Even taking into account the possible lag, all indications are that the number of deaths has not increased by that much in some of the countries that are suffering the most spikes in infections.

Consider Germany, which is setting a new record for COVID cases, but so far, there are only 170 deaths a day caused by the virus. That compares with the country’s worst days in terms of deaths, in early January, when authorities counted 800 deaths a day for several days.

Currently, the US is losing thousands of people every day to COVID. Experts expect that number to rise, but is still low compared to the worst days of the United States – also back in January – when authorities tally 3,400 deaths a day for an entire year. bad week.

Cases and deaths are separating and it’s clear why. Most of the affluent countries are vaccinating their populations at a steady rate. Health authorities in an increasing number of countries allow children to be stabbed. Accelerator is available. Hesitancy about vaccines is easing as governments and business agencies force people to choose between refusal and their jobs.

And when people get infected and really get sick — because they haven’t been vaccinated or the virus has broken their vaccine-induced immunity — doctors have options.

Edwin Michael, an epidemiologist at the Center for Global Health Infectious Disease Research at the University of South Florida, told The Daily Beast: “We now have drugs that can stop the development of symptoms. serious if a person is infected. These include monoclonal antibodies, Remdesivir and, most promisingly, a brand new antiviral drug from Pfizer that can reduce mortality from severe COVID.

Vaccines, with strong antiviral support, are driving the industrial world toward circulation, a time when COVID becomes another disease that humans control with vaccines, and medicine.

That’s not to say that travel, business and school restrictions aren’t helpful. Indeed, many European countries some limits have been restored into public gatherings as the winter wave picks up. But every day of powerful vaccinations means an earlier end to existing restrictions — and chances are that they will no longer be necessary.

The numbers in the United States are particularly encouraging. The most vaccine-friendly Americans quickly realized this spring. Vaccination rate peak at 3.5 million people per day in mid-April.

But vaccinations have stalled this summer. A temporary drop in infections makes shots seem less urgent, but vaccine hesitancy is also a factor. This spring, a third or more of Americans said they would never get vaccinated. More recent polls show that this percentage is falling. In a Morning Consult poll last week, only 18 percent of respondents said they do not want to be vaccinated.

Experts point to a number of factors that lead to a decrease in indecision. The more people vaccinated, the more unvaccinated people found that the shots were safe and effective. But federal, state, and corporate mandates certainly play a role, too.

President Joe Biden’s administration in September required federal contractors to vaccinate their employees. Two months later, the White House introduced a new rule that required all private employers with 100 or more employees to also rush their workers. A federal court upheld that rule, meaning an appeal is likely to the US Supreme Court. Even if the Supreme Court repeals that rule, growing corporate duties are likely to continue to be delayed.

There is a cumulative effect from mandates, a reduction in hesitation, and the recent decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize boosters for many Americans, as well as the first dose. for children over five years old. From a recent low of just half a million doses a day in July, vaccination rates have risen to 1.2 million healthy doses a day.

“The combination of childhood vaccinations, continued improvement in vaccination rates among older adults, and innate immunity from a significant number of people who have been infected is now well established,” Alberg said. put the long-term immunity of the elusive herd”.

Today, 59 percent of Americans are fully immunized. And that percentage has increased by a point about every two weeks.

A vocal and sometimes violent minority can make the United States appear to have an insurmountable anti-vax problem. It’s not. And as COVID ramps up for its third winter, a vaccine is likely to keep many people out of hospitals and morgues in the United States and other countries with high case counts. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is not yet endemic, Alberg said, but it is getting closer. “We can say with confidence that endemicity is now within reach.”

Mokdad is confident enough about endemicity in the United States that he’s even willing to put it on his calendar.

“Our best long-term forecast suggests a decline [in cases] starting in January or February will be sustained if people are vaccinated and boosted at the same rate as they are now,” he said. “We should achieve endemic status this spring or summer.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-the-winter-covid-19-surge-has-in-store-for-americaand-the-rest-of-the-world?source=articles&via=rss | What’s in the winter COVID-19 Surge in the US — and the rest of the world

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