First Things First: The current US COVID surge poses a significant threat but is "not being taken seriously."
Photograph: Sarah Yenesel/EPA ©Prvovided by The Guardian

In the fourth year of the pandemic, Covid-19 is once again spreading across the US. This is due to the holidays, people taking less care, and the fact that Omicron subvariants are still changing.

New subvariants are worrying because they are easier to spread and can avoid some antibodies. However, experts say that the same tools, like bivalent boosters, masks, ventilation, antivirals, and other precautions, can still stop the spread of Covid.

Dr. Neil Sehgal, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, said that the number of people who used the et booster was “pitiful.” Even though there are more cases this winter, there aren’t as many people taking antivirals, getting vaccinated, or getting tested. This is putting more pressure on healthcare systems, he said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the number of new Covid patients admitted to hospitals is now at its fourth-highest level since the pandemic began. Covid hospitalisations went down after the summer wave, but not as low as they had been after other spikes. This trend lasted through the fall, and then they went up again during the holidays.

How much does it go up? From the week ending January 4 to the week ending January 11, the number of covid deaths rose by 44%, from 2,705 to 3,907. Analysis of the virus in wastewater shows that this is one of the biggest jumps in the number of cases since the pandemic began. It is much less than the highest point in January 2022, but about the same as the rise in summer 2022.

https://www.who.int/news/item/13-01-2023-who-updates-covid-19-guidelines-on-masks–treatments-and-patient-care
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