Coronavirus wave this fall could infect 100 million, administration warns – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2022-05-07 07:57:21 –


Experts agreed that a big wave could occur this fall and winter, given the weakened immunity to vaccines and infectious diseases, the relaxation of restrictions, and the increase in variants.

Biden administration warns that the United States could see 100 million people coronavirus Infectious diseases and potentially significant death waves this fall and winter are caused by new Omicron submutants that have demonstrated an amazing ability to escape immunity.

As the country approaches the COVID death toll of one million, forecasts made on Friday by senior executives during a background briefing will boost the country’s readiness and billions of suitable to buy a new tranche. Part of a broader promotion to convince Congressmen to the dollar of vaccines, tests, and treatments.

Authorities did not provide new data or make formal predictions in predicting 100 million potential infections during cold weather from later this year to early next year. Instead, he described the autumn and winter waves as scenarios based on various external models of the pandemic. These predictions assume that Omicron and its variants continue to dominate the spread of the community, officials say there are no dramatically different strains of the virus, and the pandemic course depends on many factors. Admitted that there is a possibility.

Some experts say that this fall and winter could be a big wave, given the weakening of the immune system from vaccines and infectious diseases, the relaxation of restrictions, and the rise of mutants that can escape immune defenses. I agreed.

Many warn that returning to more relaxed behavior, from becoming maskless to attending a crowded indoor get-together, will lead to more infections. The seven-day national average of new infections has more than doubled from 29,312 on March 30 to nearly 71,000 on Friday, a little over five weeks.

Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina Gillings Global Public Health School, said: “When it comes to COVID, it’s always hard to predict the future, but I think we’re at an even more difficult stage now than usual. For these long-term trends, we have an accurate understanding of viruses and viruses. Because they are very sensitive to what they are not doing. [human] Action, “said the wrestler.

Another modeler, the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics Epidemiologist Ali Mokudad, said in an email Friday that a winter surge is likely. His organization, which has made long-term forecasts despite a lot of uncertainty, has created a new forecast that shows a modest rise in cases by the end of May and then declines until the arrival of winter.

Government officials said the latest forecasts were shared with Capitol Hill lawmakers as the White House is resuming deadlocked negotiations over funding more for the coronavirus response. The White House was asking for $ 22.5 billion, but key senators signed a bipartisan deal last month with $ 10 billion in COVID aid. But the debate over the administration’s decision to ease pandemic restrictions on the border with the United States has overturned the rapid closing of transactions that have been declining for weeks now.

White House officials said they were concerned that a significant portion of the country’s antiviral and testing supply would be exhausted as a result of the expected increase in cases in the South this summer. .. Without these tools, the country would not be able to prepare for the fall and winter surges, and deaths and hospitalizations could increase dramatically, they say.

If Congress remains stagnant, authorities said it is likely to withdraw the funds set aside for more tests and treatments to buy more vaccines.

The southern summer waves, which are expected to reflect similar uptrends in 2020 and 2021, are of particular concern due to the low immunization and booster rates in the region. Deaths in the northeast have been stable in the last few weeks as the number of cases in the area has skyrocketed, but officials say they are still vulnerable due to the low number of people shot dead in the south. rice field.

The prediction is repeated by outside experts. “For some reason, these peaks are seasonal. Mercedes Carneton, an epidemiologist at the Northwestern University of Feinberg School of Medicine, has a very high proportion of cases in the south during the summer. This is probably because the southern part is so hot that many people are inside.

Part of the government’s challenge in responding to a pandemic is that the virus continues to mutate in ways that surprise scientists. Omicron most notably emerged in southern Africa in November with a package of mutations at an alarming rate, coming from a different part of the viral family tree than the delta mutant it replaced. I did. The origin of Omicron remains unknown.

Since then, Omicron has spun off many subvariants that are even more contagious than the original strain. The BA.2 omicron subvariant continues to account for the majority of new infections in the United States, but the BA.2.12.1 subvariant is rapidly becoming widespread and may soon become the most common strain. I have. Meanwhile, two other highly infectious variants, BA.4 and BA.5, have spurred a recent surge in infections in South Africa.

Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, said: “It’s also a guess to predict that they will succeed.”

Another big unknown that can affect the size and severity of another wave is whether there is a more effective vaccine available by the fall. Both Pfizer and Moderna are working on new booster shots that combine different versions of the coronavirus to protect against mutations, but it’s unclear if they’re more effective than existing vaccines. Government officials said they hope to be able to distribute such boosters in the fall, especially to the elderly and those at highest risk of severe infections and death.

Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at Emory University, said that the longer the coronavirus wave interval, the more people are susceptible to infection due to weakened immunity.

“It only puts vulnerable people at risk,” Dean said. “These ups and downs are likely to continue.”

Coronavirus wave this fall could infect 100 million, administration warns Source link Coronavirus wave this fall could infect 100 million, administration warns

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