Blog CDC Highlights Dominance of COVID-19 in Respiratory Illness Hospitalizations.

CDC Highlights Dominance of COVID-19 in Respiratory Illness Hospitalizations.

As the winter season ushers in a wave of respiratory illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that COVID-19 continues to dominate hospitalizations and fatalities.

CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen, in a briefing on Friday, underscored that

Covid is still the primary cause of new respiratory virus hospitalizations and death,” (Source: NBC News).

Weekly, COVID-19 is accountable for approximately 15,000 hospitalizations and 1,000 deaths, highlighting its persistent impact on public health. The CDC no longer tracks national case numbers, relying on wastewater sampling to assess viral activity.

Wastewater analysis indicates an upward trend nationally, with the Midwest exhibiting the highest viral activity, possibly foreshadowing the winter ahead.

Tara Smith, an epidemiology professor at Kent State University, notes that regional differences in weather contribute to the timing of COVID-19 waves.

Warmer Southern states often experience earlier waves due to increased indoor activities for air conditioning, while colder Northern states see peaks during winter when people spend more time indoors.

As winter unfolds and holiday travel intensifies, experts anticipate a surge in COVID-19 infections. The predominant variant remains HV.1, constituting around 32% of new cases as of November 25.

Notably, the BA.2.86 variant, initially detected in the summer, has tripled in prevalence, comprising 9% of new cases.

The BA.2.86 variant, characterized by a significant number of mutations, was recently reclassified by the World Health Organization as a variant of interest, indicating increased scrutiny. Despite this, the global public health risk from the variant remains low.

With the evolving landscape of COVID-19 variants, continued monitoring and public health measures are crucial to navigate the challenges posed by the virus, especially as winter sets in and holiday gatherings commence.

The CDC urges ongoing vigilance to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 during the winter respiratory virus season.

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