Posted BY: Jasmine | NwoReport
In the past month, COVID-19 infections in the US have experienced a nearly twofold increase, driven by the emergence of two highly mutated variants, according to official data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a significant rise in the test positivity rate, which indicates the proportion of positive swab tests. The rate climbed from one in 15 during the week ending July 15 to one in eight by August 12. This marks the highest level of test positivity in over a year, with states like Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana reporting even higher rates of one in six positive swabs.
While fewer tests are being conducted compared to earlier pandemic stages, various metrics demonstrate a rapid surge in infections. Hospitalization rates for COVID-19 patients have been consistently increasing over five weeks, albeit still remaining relatively low. This surge is attributed to several factors, including the prevalence of two highly transmissible variants, declining vaccine immunity, and the start of the school year, which prompts larger gatherings.
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The CDC’s National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) highlighted the sharp rise in positivity rates, soaring from 6.7% in the week ending July 15 to 12.2% by August 12. These variants, known as Eris (EG.5) and Pirola (BA.X), have been identified globally and in the US. These mutations possess an increased ability to evade vaccines and natural immunity, leading to concerns about infection spread.
Eris, in particular, is estimated to be responsible for a significant proportion of COVID-19 cases. However, experts believe that while cases are increasing, the severity of infections caused by these variants remains relatively mild compared to earlier strains. Dr. Thomas Moore, an infectious disease physician, emphasized that these new strains are spreading rapidly due to their enhanced transmissibility but are not causing more severe illness. While hospitalizations are on the rise, weekly deaths have decreased.
This could be attributed to the less severe nature of cases caused by the new variants, along with the fact that a significant portion of the population has gained immunity through vaccination, booster shots, and previous infections. Despite this, calls for mitigation efforts, including mask-wearing, have resurfaced. Some institutions, like a college in Atlanta and a film studio in California, have reintroduced mask mandates to curb the spread of the virus.
In conclusion, the US has witnessed a substantial increase in COVID-19 infections over the past month due to the emergence of highly-mutated variants. While test positivity rates and hospitalizations have risen, the severity of infections remains relatively low. The spread of these variants underscores the importance of ongoing vigilance and mitigation strategies, such as mask mandates, to control transmission and protect public health.