It’s still here. Actually it never went away. Covid-19 is still a threat though not as prevalent as at the onset three to four years ago. And the original variants Alpha and Delta seem to be gone, replaced by Omicron and its subsets of mutants. These appear to be quite infectious and are the dominant form of Covid-19 now in circulation. It spreads the same way, mainly through aerosols in the air from infected people sneezing or coughing, or even talking loudly or yelling. Being outdoors, it’s less contagious but in crowded indoor areas it can be easily disseminated. The XBB variant of Omicron became dominant in the United States early in 2023. A variant labeled BA.2.86 emerged in August 2023, followed by another mutant, JN.1. which appears to be the most resistant form of Covid-19.
Perhaps because it’s been around so long, people seem less concerned by Covid-19 and the deaths and rate of hospitalizations have gone down considerably. But they’re still happening. The CDC noted that from October 2022 to September 2023, more than 80,000 people in the U.S. died of Covid-19. The risk of hospitalization and death is much higher for adults over age sixty-five, those with underlying medical conditions, or those who are immune compromised. Patients who were not vaccinated with the new bivalent formulation also had a higher rate of hospitalization and/or death. However, many people have at least some immunity to the new variants of Covid-19 because of past infections or previous vaccinations. As the weather grows colder and people spend more time indoors, it’s likely that the number of cases of Covid-19 will rise.
No matter what the statistics are, a majority of Americans still remain unvaccinated with the new bivalent vaccine, including those over sixty-five who are at greater risk of acquiring Covid-19 and having a severe outcome. Most people also refuse to wear masks in crowded indoor areas, where the chances of catching Covid-19 remain high. Wearing masks also helps to prevent other upper respiratory diseases, particularly influenza and colds. In Asian nations such as Japan and Korea, many people automatically wear masks during colder weather and when indoors, yet Americans refuse to do so. People should still be concerned about the possibility of being infected with the Covid-19 virus and take proper precautionary measures to prevent that from happening. The virus is still here and not going away yet.
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Posted at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tags: Covid-19, increased deaths and hospitalizations. bivalent vaccines, older population, Omicron variants, preventive measures
Political junkie, Vietnam vet, neurologist- three books on aging and dementia. Book on health care reform in 2009- Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System. Book on the need for a centrist third party- Resurrecting Democracy- A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party published in 2011. Aging Wisely, published in August 2014 by Rowman and Littlefield. Latest book- The Uninformed Voter published May 2020