J. HARRIS: Likely, we are testing more in Harrison County and uncovering Covid infections in people
who are not ill enough to require hospitalization. Good. But, obvisouly, there is rampant COVID in the county
which is only 41% vaccinated. For old, battered, and /or immunosuppressed folks, even this “milder’ variant can be deadly. Unfortunately, any Covid infection can be followed by Long Covid with chronic residual.
Likely, we have been visited by the Omicron variant BA.2. If so, it is more contagious but MAY be
less lethal than prior variants. If YOU get it, you’d best worry. And remember, this variant can infect vaccinated and previously infected people. Cautious people with current boosters should get by. This is no time to get careless!
1. UNITED STATES
The US CDC is currently reporting 79.2 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 959,533 deaths. Daily incidence continues its sharp decline, down from a record high of 809,345 new cases per day on January 15 to 37,879 on March 8, a more than 95% decrease. Daily mortality appears to have peaked during this surge on February 2 at 2,642 deaths per day, down to 1,161 on March 8.
2. HOPKINS ON LONG COVID (CLICK ATTACHED AT BOTTOM OF PAGE)
Once Viewed as a Promising COVID-19 Treatment, Convalescent Plasma Falls Out of Favor
(J. Harris: Once again the Scientific Method prevails.)
Omicron subvariant spread slows in US
”The rate of new COVID-19 cases involving the omicron subvariant BA.2 appears to be slowing in the U.S., according to variant proportion estimates from the CDC…The subvariant’s prevalence had been doubling every week in the U.S. since mid-February. The latest CDC estimates suggest that [THE DOUBLING] trend has ended, though BA.2’s prevalence is still rising…The subvariant accounted for an estimated 11.6 percent of COVID-19 cases in the week ending March 5, according to the CDC. This figure sat at 8.3 percent in the week ending Feb. 26 and 4.4 percent in the week ending Feb. 19…The U.S. has confirmed 4,690 COVID-19 cases involving BA.2 as of March 8, according to outbreak.info, a platform that tracks data on coronavirus variants and is supported by the CDC and other national research groups….Overall, there isn’t clear evidence the subvariant will cause another major surge in the U.S.
(J. Harris: But if you look at Covid history for the last two years, why would BA.2 not spead in the US? It did in Denmark and is currently spreading in Germany — and vaccination rates are higher in both countries than they are in the USA.)
Variant that combines Delta and Omicron identified; dogs sniff out virus with high accuracy
”…”The virus that replicates in each infected patient is in reality a mixture of slightly different SARS-CoV-2 viruses,” and these different viruses account for varying proportions of the full “ensemble,” said coauthor Celia Perales of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Minority variants in one infected individual can become dominant in someone else, either by chance, or due to a selective advantage related to the presence or absence of drugs, vaccines, or other factors, she said.”’
1. Omicron cases continue to spike in parts of Asia.
”…Scientists had also wondered whether people infected with one Omicron subvariant could be reinfected with another. The W.H.O. reported that recent data from Qatar suggested that a previous infection with one Omicron subvariant may confer protection against others…
The agency said it had received reports of clusters of what it called recombinant variants, or variants that combined Delta and Omicron or different Omicron subvariants. But because such clusters have showed “very low to almost undetectable levels of transmission,” those variants have not been named….”
2. Lockdowns spread in China as Covid surges in Shanghai and over a dozen provinces.
”…After two years of posting one of the world’s most successful track records in managing the coronavirus, China suddenly faces a wave of cases. The country’s National Health Commission said Friday that 1,100 new cases had been detected nationwide the day before….
Three-fifths of the cases this week are in people with no symptoms, a pattern that Chinese officials attribute to the country’s high vaccination rate, and to extensive testing that is uncovering infections in people who appear healthy. But health officials caution that the high proportion of asymptomatic infections is no cause for complacency….Most of China’s new cases have been in cities that attribute their outbreaks to the Omicron variant. Tiny pockets of the Delta variant are still occurring along China’s borders….China has kept the virus under tight control until now with a national system of quickly detecting and quarantining anyone with a fever, along with all of that person’s contacts. Even the contacts of these contacts are sometimes required to quarantine….
But finding healthy yet infectious people and quickly tracing their movements has proved more difficult. “We need to dig out the asymptomatic people, and it is sometimes more difficult to trace,” Mr. Wu said….”
3. Two years after declaring a pandemic, the W.H.O.’s watchword is still caution.
”…The World Health Organization, often criticized for being too slow to declare in 2020 that a pandemic was underway, now says — two years to the day after making that declaration — that many countries are being too quick to declare it over and let down their guard…..“This virus has fooled us every time…..“The pandemic is far from over,” Dr. Tedros said on Wednesday, “and it will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere…”
From Lewis Grizzard:
”The only way that I could figure they could improve upon Coca-Cola, one of life’s most delightful elixirs, which studies prove will heal the sick and occasionally raise the dead, is to put bourbon in it.”
”There’s no such thing as being too Southern.” [except when you need to be vaccinated]
I don’t know who said this: “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.”
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