According to the CDC, the United States entered a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two weeks. Infection rates in the UK may rise quite a bit in the months to come, but hospitalizations and deaths should remain low, considering the UK’s example.
This virus is not likely to ravage whole communities, but to target the unvaccinated, including children, and if enough cases are reported then even the most vulnerable among the vaccinated, mainly elderly as well as the people with less immunity.
COVID-19 Cases Are In Their Fourth Wave. Can We Avoid The Same Fate As The UK? We Don’t Know Yet.
Despite the fact that the majority of the population has now developed immunity, it’s unlikely that we will experience the widespread transmissions seen in January, Dr. David Dowd, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a webinar on Wednesday. However, major outbreaks can still occur in regions with low vaccination rates, especially in areas with a high rate of infant mortality.
In the event of a pandemic, there will be two worlds, the vaccinated world, and the non-vaccinated world, stated Dr. Luis Ostrosky, director of the UTHealth Center for Tropical Medicine and an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston.
Vaccines distributed in the United States, made by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson, have all proven highly effective in fighting variants of the virus, including Delta, which now constitutes most of the U.S. cases.
In hospitals currently treating COVID-19 cases, more than 90% of the patients are unvaccinated. Virtually all of Ostrowski’s patients have not been vaccinated and regret not having been vaccinated.
Ravina Kullar, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA and expert in infectious diseases and epidemiology, believes that COVID-19 may not be as deadly in this new wave since older individuals are more likely to be protected against the disease and younger individuals are less likely to die from the infection.
Although it’s still unclear whether it makes people sicker than previous variants, the Delta variant is significantly more contagious than previous ones.
Yonatan Grad, physician and infectious disease specialist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, acknowledged that Delta is a cause for concern. It appears that this wave should not be taken lightly and should be dealt with as a challenge.
Rates for COVID-19 are once again on the rise
According to the U.K., which has approximately the same rate of vaccinations as the U.S., the number of infections per week has returned to the level that it had on Jan. 20, a few weeks after its peak.
On Tuesday, only 26 deaths were reported across the country, much lower than the January 19 peak of over 1,300 deaths. At their peak in January, hospitalizations numbered 4,500 per day. Now, they hover around 500 per day.
It is estimated that in the U.S., infections have increased by more than double since the week of June 22. The number of cases is also increasing in 48 states, and deaths are ascending. However, the infection rates are still 90 percent lower than at the peak of January.
A new spike is still likely to occur sometime this fall. It is likely the COVID-19 coronavirus is a seasonal virus, and just like the influenza virus, people are more likely to contract it during the fall and winter. The start date for that project is not known yet, according to Grad.
In the U.S., most people over 65 years of age are fully vaccinated, but younger people account for a larger proportion of those who fall ill. While children under the age of 12 are unlikely to suffer a severe case of COVID-19, they are not able to obtain the needed vaccination and remain at risk of getting the Delta variant.
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