- The new variant, Ellis, accounted for 17.3% of all Covid-19 cases in the United States in the week ending Aug. 5.
- Experts say the new surge is likely a result of summer travel and easing of precautions.
COVID-19 They are making a comeback in the summer. And there is a new subspecies to learn the name of.
In July, the number of infected people began to increase again nationwide, According to the Centers for Disease Control US hospitalizations rose 12.5% in the week of July 23, according to the (CDC).
in Florida, Florida Department of Health He said the number of infected people had skyrocketed since the 4th of July holiday. The number of new coronavirus cases has risen from 5,607 new cases in the week of May 12 to 9,942 in the week of July 14, a 77% increase over the past 10 weeks, according to new data. This resembles the surge Florida experienced last winter, but local doctors say so far, the number of COVID-19 positive patients they’ve seen in recent weeks has been lower than seen during previous outbreaks. It is said that it is not as severe as the patient who was caught.
Doctors said this could be the result of vaccines or immunity conferred by previous infections, and that the latest strain of coronavirus could be weaker than its ancestors. But Floridians still need to take precautions.
This comes as another novel coronavirus variant spreads rapidly across the United States and Florida students return to school.
EG.5.1, Nickname Ellis added to WHO’s SARS-CoV-2 variant watch list It is currently the most prevalent subspecies in the United States.
What is Novel Coronavirus Mutant Eris?
Eris is an informal nickname given to EG.5.1, a subvariant of Omicron (B.1.1.529).
It has been added to the WHO watch list as part of the EG.5 lineage. According to WHO Initial risk assessment The global prevalence of EG.5 was 17.4% in the week to July 17, an increase of almost 129% from the previous quarter, it was announced Wednesday, but is considered a low global health risk. was
In the two weeks ending August 5, Ellis turned out to be the most prevalent coronavirus variant in the United States, accounting for 17.3% of cases.
The EG.5 subspecies, descended from the Omicron subspecies that wreaked havoc in late 2021 and early 2022, is spreading rapidly, but “no changes in disease severity have been reported to date.” the report said.
T. Ryan Gregory, Professor of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, A post on X (formerly Twitter) began calling the subspecies Ellis.
But experts say the current surge is more due to summer travel, heat and storms keeping us indoors, and a general relaxation of testing and precautions, rather than the new strain.
Is COVID-19 cases on the rise in Florida?
yes. Covid-19 cases are on the rise again, similar to the spikes seen each summer in the Sunshine State since the pandemic began. Sewage tests and routine COVID-19 tests show an undeniable spike in infections since early July.
The state health department said about 17% of the COVID-19 test results collected statewide in the week ending July 20 tested positive. A similar ratio was seen in late July in both 2022 and 2021, it said.
These numbers will almost certainly be lower as more people do home tests to diagnose their own infections, but they are rarely reported. Many health surveillance systems were dismantled after the public health emergency ended in May. CDC data is weeks old and does not track infections.
Is the current coronavirus surge in Florida as dangerous as the previous ones?
Dr. Dushanta Jayaweera, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, said the most common symptoms among COVID-19 patients today are tiredness and sniffling. But in previous waves, they were “tired, sweaty and sticky,” he says.
And patients during the more deadly COVID-19 outbreak will need high-flow nasal cannulae inserted into their noses to pump oxygen. “I rarely use it now,” he says.
“The current situation is even worse than it was before,” said Bill Hanage, co-director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health.
The CDC said most counties in Florida saw an increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations by the end of July, but the CDC still rates overall hospitalization levels as low.
However, taking precautions is still a good idea. Although it is still possible to spread COVID-19 to people with compromised immune systems, long-term transmission of COVID-19 remains serious. under The latest impact can be debilitating.
Should I start wearing masks again? Need a booster?
If you are traveling or attending a crowded event, it is recommended that you bring your mask with you again to avoid infection and limit the spread. Recommended by CDC If hospitalization levels rise, people at higher risk of severe illness should wear masks.
Experts say that people who are severely immunocompromised, or older than 65 or 70 years of age, should receive booster vaccines, possibly at least twice a year, especially if they have a weakened immune system. generally agree.
People who get vaccinated or have been infected a few times are probably protected from serious infections and hospitalization, according to Bill Hanage, co-director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health.
“This is a question that we also don’t have a big answer for,” Hanage said. Young, otherwise healthy people are “unlikely to benefit significantly” from booster immunizations. Hanage urged health care workers and teachers to consider pay raises to offer a little more protection.
Are booster shots still free?
recently. With the end of the national emergency declaration for the new coronavirus, funds allocated to combat the spread of the virus were cut. The federal government will no longer buy vaccines to give away for free.
But most Americans will probably continue to get free Covid-19 vaccines.according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Americans can get the COVID-19 vaccine free as long as the stockpile lasts. Without these, COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, like current flu shots, will be treated by the health system like any other medical care.
Starting this fall, the CDC will make vaccinations available free of charge at health centers and clinics known as federally-certified medical centers, which primarily serve the uninsured.You can find your nearest store at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov .
What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus variant Eris?
According to the Zoe Health Survey, Ellis, the organization that monitors and estimates the number of new coronavirus cases in the UK, has similar symptoms to Omicron. The most common are:
- runny nose or nasal congestion
- sore throat
- changes in sense of smell
Is it the flu, cold, or COVID-19?How to know and when to get tested
Will a vaccine stop Ellis’ new coronavirus variant?
Current vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness from the latest strains, and new vaccines are in development, experts say.
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration in June to approve the latest version of its new coronavirus vaccine, CEO Albert Bourra said in an investor conference call on Tuesday. He said it would target stocks. EG.5 is a subvariant.
Updated shots could be available as early as late August.
What to do if the test result is positive
If you think you may have COVID-19 or have tested positive, CDC suggests several ways Treat symptoms and stop the spread.
- Stay home and away from others.
- Improve home ventilation.
- Use an N-95 or other quality mask when other people are around.
- Get the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
- Monitor your symptoms and stay in touch with your healthcare provider.
- Take prescribed medicines and treatments.
- Rest and use over-the-counter medications to manage symptoms such as headaches.
- Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and cleaning common surfaces.
- using their test treatment position tool To find resources in your area.
Contributors: Adrianna Rodriguez, Karen Weintraub, Mary Walrath-Holdridge, USA TODAY. Chris Persaud, Palm Beach Post