The recent weeks have seen a surge in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, a fact that has been confirmed by the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This increase amounts to more than a 20% hike in the first half of August, signaling a significant shift from the pandemic’s previous patterns.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
According to the CDC’s most recent data, over 12,600 individuals were admitted to hospitals due to the coronavirus in the week that ended on August 12. This figure indicates a spike of almost 22% compared to the preceding week.
It’s essential to note that while this number doesn’t come close to the hospital admissions witnessed during the previous surges of COVID-19, it’s still the first significant wave since the last winter. Experts suggest that this rise in the summer months is not entirely surprising, but it should serve as a critical reminder for all to take the virus seriously as winter approaches.
Understanding the Geographic Spread
Interestingly, the vast majority of the counties in the U.S. report a “low” level of new COVID-19 hospital admissions. According to the CDC’s data, less than 3% of the counties are experiencing a “medium” level of new admissions. None of the counties are currently witnessing a “high” level of hospital admissions.
The Role of Variants in the Current Scenario
The CDC has stopped tracking individual coronavirus infections. However, researchers suggest that the rise in hospitalizations could not have occurred without a substantial spread of the virus. The death toll, which usually follows the pattern of hospitalizations, has not shown a similar increase as of now.
Two new strains have been making news recently – EG.5 or “eris” and BA.2.86. EG.5 is currently the most dominant strain in the U.S., accounting for over 20% of new infections in recent weeks. BA.2.86 has caught the attention of the CDC and the World Health Organization due to its 30+ mutations, although it has been detected only in small numbers in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, and Israel.
“Scientists are working now to understand more about the newly identified lineage, and we will share more information as it becomes available,” a CDC spokeswoman told U.S. News.
A Lighter Take on the Situation
Amidst the constant stream of news and updates, a little humor can provide a much-needed break. Here’s a cartoon that puts a lighter spin on the ongoing pandemic scenario:
As the situation continues to evolve, it’s crucial to stay informed and take necessary precautions. With the shifting landscape of COVID-19, we’re reminded of the importance of unity, resilience, and a shared commitment to overcoming this global challenge collectively.