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Feb 2, 2024
Emergency’ or not, covid is still killing people.
With around 20,000 people dying of covid in the United States since the start of October, and tens of thousands more abroad, the covid pandemic clearly isn’t over. However, the crisis response is, since the World Health Organization and the Biden administration ended their declared health emergencies last year.
Jan 17, 2024
Surging COVID-19 cases detected in wastewater: Could it signal a new wave?
-Janet Loehrke, USA TODAY
Every winter since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the number of people dealing with respiratory illnesses has jumped, and this year is no different.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows national and regional trends of COVID-19 have increased substantially in wastewater sample data. Fewer than 5% of COVID-19 cases in the United States were linked to the JN.1 variant in early November; the variant is now estimated to be the cause of 61% of cases.
Wastewater testing is intended to act as an early warning system for public health professionals, allowing them to prevent outbreaks.
Wastewater monitoring across the US
Even in cases when a community's residents are not showing symptoms, it is possible to test wastewater, or sewage, for the presence of infectious diseases. The data from the CDC can detect possible changes in the levels of illnesses in your region.
Jan 11, 2024
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that increased transmission of COVID-19 last month was attributed to holiday gatherings and the global spread of the JN.1 variant, with nearly 10,000 deaths reported in December. Hospital admissions rose by 42% in about 50 countries, mainly in Europe and the Americas. Tedros emphasized the unacceptability of the preventable deaths and urged governments to enhance surveillance, provide access to treatments and vaccines, and maintain awareness of rising cases. The JN.1 variant, an omicron variant, is now the most prominent globally, but existing vaccines should offer some protection. WHO officials recommended vaccination, mask-wearing, and proper ventilation in indoor spaces to mitigate the impact of co-circulating pathogens, including COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
Article Covid Tracker
Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Is Back. Flu and RSV Are Coming. What to Know About Fall Shots. Americans will soon roll up their sleeves for an array of shots to stem the anticipated tide of respiratory infections this fall.
Covid-19 wastewater levels and hospitalizations have been rising from low levels for weeks, and federal data show a rise in positive tests for respiratory syncytial virus, too. Health officials expect the flu to join the mix in coming months.
• Rising Covid-19 wastewater levels and hospitalizations, along with increased positive tests for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), indicate a potential wave of respiratory infections.
• Vaccines are now available for Covid-19, RSV, and flu, including new RSV shots for older adults and updated vaccines for Covid-19 and flu.
• Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are set to introduce boosters this fall targeting the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, with Pfizer aiming for approval in August.
• A newer subvariant EG.5 (Eris) is prominent, and a new lineage called BA.2.86 is being monitored by WHO and CDC.
• Shots help reduce hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19; CDC recommends flu shots for all over 6 months, RSV shots for those 60+, and a new RSV drug for infants.
• High-risk individuals for Covid-19 might consider immediate boosters; RSV shots can be taken at any time, and flu shots are advised for September/October.
• An effective strategy is to get an RSV shot followed by Covid-19 and flu shots before Halloween.
• RSV shots can potentially be administered separately or alongside flu and Covid-19 vaccines.
• Doctors emphasize getting vaccinated without overthinking; appointments should be made promptly.
Contact authors at [email protected] and [email protected] for more information.
2024 Covid-19 Is Back as a Variant. What to Know About Fall Shots, Trends, Protecting Your Family..
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Thursday, 22 February, 2024
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