A leading immunologist alerted that coronavirus cases might rise in the US during the fall. After nearly a month of this, the federal government mentioned that COVID infections could affect 100 million people in the US during autumn and winter. It is an average calculation, meaning that more people could be at risk if a new coronavirus strain occurred. The virus slowed down in September after hitting a plateau in summer that witnessed more than 100,000 daily new cases. However, what is worrying is that reduced immunity developed from the coronavirus infection and the cold season driving people indoors can reverse the trend.
One of the University of Washington’s renowned epidemiologists informs that reported cases will be higher, and hospital admissions and mortality rates can also increase. But deaths and hospitalizations will not be as high as the new cases of infection. It is because most Americans have already had the virus, received their vaccines, or had both. Due to this, almost everyone has built some immunity. Nevertheless, this is the third fall season of COVID, when deaths and new cases are high. However, people are getting back to normalcy. Offices and schools have opened, and the government-imposed restrictions have also eased out. If you checked MyBioSource’s analysis, it was clear that even 60% of the public felt that places like parks and offices should no longer be strict about COVID-19 protocols.
With COVID controlling measures no longer strictly applicable, one may wonder what the new surge be like in the fall and winter. For this, it’s essential to study the scenario.
Updated booster shots
One positive measure is that new boosters to target the rampant coronavirus variant will be available as the US has upgraded them. Experts believe that this could potentially be a game changer. It can also tackle the issue of a plateau and the threat of future waves, as per a reputable vaccine official Peter Marks. He opines that these shots can potentially protect everyone from October to December, helping avoid the risk of shutting down all the holiday festivities. Still, one cannot be sure about this due to the lack of data as of now. But popular opinion remains that new boosters can change things.
New virus strain
There is a warning that the rate of new infections can rise if a new COVID-19 strain emerges, although that risk is not much evident currently. The virus has not mutated so much that it would leave the defense mechanism. More specifically, the chances of coming across something highly contagious than BA.5 and dominating are lower. Severity risk is also less.
In this context, one should recognize that the virus survives by finding new hosts, and it doesn’t matter for it whether someone has been severely ill or not. However, it doesn’t indicate that BA.5 is not threatening. It still causes 400 deaths in the US every day. At this rate, the annual mortality count in the country would be 145,000 cases. If you compare this with 2021’s COVID-led death toll, which was 415,000, you will realize the difference. But again, it doesn’t imply that the new strain may not spread quickly or be severe.
Country’s preparedness for the surge
The American government is ready to take all the steps to support COVID-19 vaccination and treatment drives with funding. However, at-home free testing kits may not be available anymore as the additional funding for this program has not been secured. But it will resume as soon as the funds are available. For now, the government is stopping the distribution, saving it for the future. It has raised the alarm internally that lack of testing and the prediction of coronavirus surge may lead the country into a similar situation like before.
Some experts share that testing has been an enormous problem in the US. And not giving easy access to this to the public can be like inviting another disaster. A few voices also feel that America needs to prepare better.
The United States has recently seen a dwindling number of coronavirus cases, but experts are wary that this trend might not be there in the fall and winter. Many warn that the colder weather will lead to an increase in cases as people stay copped up close to one another. It is especially worrying given the recent rise in other parts of the world. The US needs to prepare more for a potential surge predicted for fall and winter and take steps to prevent further virus spread. At the same time, people should ensure basic safety and precautions to avoid the impact of the possible new surge.
Americans have been through a tough patch in life already due to COVID-19, but things are much different today. That’s why it’s essential to preserve what you have now and move toward a safer and better future that is not pandemic-torn.
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