COVID cases have declined in the United States, leading people to wonder if we are still in a pandemic – we are, but experts are worried about a potential increase this winter due to the increase cases in European countries like the UK, France and Italy. “In the past, what happened in Europe has often been a harbinger of what is about to happen in the United States,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “So I think the key message for us in this country is this: we have to be prepared for what they are starting to see in Europe.”
Another thing experts are watching closely is new omicron variants arising. “We look around the world and see that countries like Germany and France are seeing increases right now,” says Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin. “It makes me think. It adds uncertainty as to what we can expect in the weeks and months to come.”
While it’s likely the US will see a spike in cases, that’s not certain. NPR, reports: “This is because it is not clear whether the increase in cases in Europe is related to people’s greater susceptibility to new subvariants to which they have not yet been exposed. , different countries have different levels of immunity.” Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina who helps lead the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Center says, “If it’s primarily about behavioral and climate changes, we might be able to avoid similar increases if there’s wide uptake of the bivalent vaccine,” Lessler says. “If it’s immune evasion across multiple variants with convergent evolution, the outlook for the United States might be more concerning.” Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
According to NPR, “The levels of viruses detected in sewage are on the rise in some parts of the country, such as in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont and other parts of the Northeast. This could be a harbinger of what’s to come, although overall the virus is waning nationwide.”
“It’s really too early to tell that something big is going on, but it’s something we’re watching,” says Amy Kirby, manager of the national wastewater surveillance program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NPR reports, “But infections and even hospitalizations have started to rise in some of the same parts of New England, as well as other northern areas, like the Pacific Northwest, according to Dr. david rubin, the director of the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which is tracking the pandemic. “We are seeing the northern edge of the country starting to show evidence of increasing transmission,” Rubin said. “The winter resurgence begins.”
David SoulelesMPH, director of the COVID-19 response team at the University of California, Irvine tells us: “Evidence of a potential increase can be seen by looking at our neighbors to the east and west, in especially Europe where case numbers progress slowly. It has also been reported that we should expect a bad flu season, which will complicate monitoring COVID cases as the symptoms are similar. To prevent severe reactions to COVID and the flu, we need to be vaccinated and take other measures, including hygiene, good sleep, good diet, tracking the number of cases in your community, and staying vigilant. regard to the spread of the virus. »
A leading Chicago doctor expects the number of cases to rise and says NBC“I haven’t seen anything really scary on the horizon yet, but I think we’re going to see a surge of COVID. I’d be the happiest person in the world if we got there in February or March and we don’t have haven’t even seen a small surge of COVID just because it’s respiratory season and the way we see flu and RSV and everything else going up in the winter I think we’re expecting at least some surge of COVID,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. “The question really is, what does it look like with the variants?”
In addition to worrying about COVID this winter, experts are also warning about the flu. Dr. Benjamin Alli, MD/PhD Sakellerides professor and author of Not just Covidwhich comes out later this month, tells us: “This winter is expected to be particularly brutal due to influenza (twin virus) and other respiratory illnesses which have increased in various regions – largely due to misinformation ( controversy over continued mask use), and a drop in the number of people in healthcare wanting to continue for a variety of reasons including stress, personal crisis, salary, etc.”
NBC reports, “Hospitals across the country are bracing for another Covid winter – the first that is also expected to include high levels of flu and other respiratory illnesses that have been quietly simmering in the background for the past two years. The cases flu outbreaks are already increasing in parts of the United States, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention. Pediatricians, too, are seeing increasing numbers of children with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and enterovirus. And despite a downward trend of Covidtens of thousands of new cases are still being diagnosed every day.”
More people have received the vaccine, which will contribute to some immunity.
NPR reports: “We have a lot more immunity in the population than we did last winter,” says Jennifer Nuzzo, who directs the Pandemic Center at Brown University School of Public Health. “Not only have people been vaccinated, but a lot of people have now contracted this virus. In fact, some people have contracted it multiple times. And it’s accumulating [immunity] in the population and overall reduce our risk of severe disease,” says Nuzzo.
However, interest in the latest booster is really low. “Nearly 50% of people eligible for a reminder did not receive one,” says Guillaume Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. “It’s wild. It’s really crazy.” The new booster became available over Labor Day weekend and fless than 8 million people have one. As it is likely that there will be an increase, Nuzzo reminds us that it is essential to stay up to date on boosters. “The most important thing we can do is take off the table that this virus can cause serious illness and death,” she says. “There are a lot of people who could really benefit from a boost but haven’t.”
Bernadette Boden AlbalaMPH, DrPH, founding dean of the UCI program in public health, says: “To prevent serious reactions to COVID and influenza, we must be vaccinated and take other measures, including hygiene, good sleep, good diet, tracking the number of cases in your community and making sure you don’t spread the virus. »
Dr. William Li, physician, scientist, president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation and author of Eat to beat disease: the new science of how your body can heal itself explains, “The easiest way to be protected against serious illness from COVID is to get your bivalent vaccine. You could still get infected if exposed, but you won’t get as seriously ill and you’re unlikely to need hospitalization. The easiest way not to be exposed is to wear a good quality mask (N95/KN95) which is available everywhere.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these 35 places where you are most likely to catch COVID.
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