Bill Gates says the Omicron version should build up a wealth of immunity for at least next year and that annual COVID-19 shots will probably be needed “sometime”.
“Once an omicron passes through a country, there should be fewer cases for the rest of the year to treat COVID like the seasonal flu,” Gates tweeted during an event. twitter with Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh earlier this week.
Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said “more transmissive variants” are unlikely to emerge than Omicron. But he acknowledged that COVID-19 has provided many surprises during the pandemic.
Inspired by the Omicron version, the pace of recently reported COVID-19 in the United States is still increasing. The country recorded more than 5.5 million cases in the week ended Wednesday, according to a USA Today analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Compared to a week ago, cases were rising in 47 states, the death toll was rising in 38 states, and there were more COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in 49 states. The country now has more than 152,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, federal data shows, and about 25,200 people are in intensive care beds.
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CDC guidelines recommend wearing your N95 and KN95 masks for no more than five uses. However, some experts offer tips on how to prolong wearing your masks and keep them clean. Read more here.
New Jersey COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 28% since Jan. And the number of people needing ventilators rose to 500 – a 71% jump over that period.
Novak Djokovic admitted on Wednesday that his Australian travel manifesto contained false information, and also admitted an “error of judgment” in attending an interview and photoshoot in Serbia last month after testing positive for COVID-19 .
According to the Associated Press, the US military is, for the first time, offering a maximum enlistment bonus of $50,000 to recruits who enlist for six years as the service struggles to lure soldiers into critical jobs amid the pandemic.
IToday’s issue: The US has over 63.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 844,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: More than 317 million cases and nearly 5.5 million deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 208 million Americans — 62.7% — have been fully vaccinated.
IWhat we are reading: Should you strangle yourself with an at-home COVID test among Omicron? This is why experts say no.
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US will buy another 500 million at-home, rapid tests
President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the federal government would buy rapid at-home COVID-19 testing, doubling the White House’s purchases last month. Biden talked about what the administration is doing in response to the current coronavirus surge.
The first batch of 500 million tests, which Biden announced in December, has yet to be delivered. Americans will be able to request the test through an online website that is yet to be unveiled. Tests will be sent to people’s homes.
, Maureen Groppe
The number of pregnant people getting vaccinated amid the current coronavirus surge is rising, but health experts say Minor improvement is not enough. There is renewed concern after a large study published Thursday in “Nature Medicine” showed that unvaccinated pregnant people and their babies could face the worst consequences of the virus. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh Usher Institute analyzed a database that tracked nearly 145,000 pregnancies across 130,000 women from March 2020 to October 2021. The study found that 98% of pregnant women admitted to critical care were not vaccinated.
The researchers reported more than 450 perinatal deaths when a baby dies in the womb or during the neonatal period, all linked to unrelated pregnant women.
“The main message we would love to receive is that the better way to protect mother and baby is to vaccinate as soon as possible,” said study co-author Aziz Shaikh. “It can be done at any stage of pregnancy.” read more here,
, Adriana Rodriguez
high risk? Don’t take risks with COVID-19
As the coronavirus continues to tear across America, this is a It’s a bad time to catch COVID-19, especially for people at high risk. And that means a lot of Americans are vulnerable. About 40% of American adults are considered to be at high risk for serious infections because they are over 65, carrying extra pounds or have certain medical conditions. And while there are good treatments to prevent infected people from needing hospital care, including two recently approved ones, they are almost completely unavailable nationwide.
The director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. “Right now, we have nothing else to do to treat ambulatory patients with COVID,” said Jean Marazzo. “We don’t have any monoclonals right now. We don’t have oral medications yet and we don’t have any other options — so it’s really important to try to protect yourself.” read more here,
— Karen Weintraubi
Experts criticize CDC messaging
Many Americans navigating the COVID-19 pandemic during the latest virus surge say frequent changes to federal guidelines don’t make their lives any easier. And they are not alone in their desperation. Some of the leading health experts who have stood by CDC and its science-based decisions since the start of the pandemic Now criticizing the agency for poor communication.
At each policy update, CDC should back up its decision with clear data and translate the science so the general public can understand it, said associate director of the Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. Thomas Hipper said. , When announcing the new isolation guidelines on December 27, CDC officials specifically failed to cite science, Hipper said.
“Merely announcing the change and trying to explain it without clear logic exposes you to questioning,” he said. “Letting the public see those imperfect alternatives helps justify decision making.”
Health experts said a second issue contributing to the CDC’s messaging problem is that local health departments and national organizations feel left out of the agency’s decision-making. In the end, experts said, the CDC has left itself open to allegations that it lacks accountability. The agency has reiterated that the epidemiology is evolving, and although this is true, health experts say the CDC still needs to acknowledge its errors in that space of inherent uncertainty.
“It humanizes this effort, and it will go a long way in building back trust,” Hipper said. “There’s nothing wrong with admitting, ‘Hey, we didn’t get everything right, but we’re committed to doing it as right as possible.'”
More children are hospitalized, but cases are usually not very serious
More children in the US are testing positive for coronavirus because Nation hits records in cases and hospitals. Children have made up more than 7 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The US has seen more than 60 million cases in total.
Given the “astonishing number of new infections” in children each day, University of South Florida epidemiology professor Jason Salemi expects more children to be hospitalized for COVID-19 in the coming weeks. Fortunately, because of the relatively mild symptoms in most Omicron patients, most of these cases will not be very serious, experts say. You can find details and data on children and COVID here.
, Jenny Husman and Aleszu Plough
Kovid patients evacuating needy patients
Just as an extreme wave of COVID-19 patients need care, hospitals are facing serious staffing issues as many people are either sick themselves, caring for family members or at risk. The reasons are quarantine. About this A USA Today analysis found that one in five hospitals are reported to have “significant staff shortages” in data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services. One in four anticipated severe shortages within the next week. Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and New Hampshire have less than 10% capacity remaining in their ICUs.
Physicians like Chicago cancer surgeon Dr. Ryan Merco must make frightening decisions about who to operate and who to wait. He said Northwestern Memorial Hospital “is full of COVID patients. Our surgical floors have been converted to COVID floors.” Some cancer patients undergo chemo and fly in on family members to help them recover.
“And then we have to pull the rug out from under them,” he said. read more here,
– Elizabeth Weiss and Kristen Jordan Shamus
Biden sending medical teams to states overwhelmed by boom
federal government is Sending medical teams to six states – New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico – to help hospitals overburdened with COVID-19, USA Today has learned. President Joe Biden announced the deployment on Thursday, as the administration discussed steps being taken to address the surge in infections driven by the Omicron variant.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 as his remarks are setting records. Some hospitals are delaying elective surgeries because states are deploying National Guard members to health care facilities. Facing pressure from members of his own party to get the pandemic under control, Biden’s new actions are expected to focus on additional manpower.
– Maureen Gropp and Donovan Slack, USA Today
Contributions: Mike Stuka, USA Today; The Associated Press