Omicron is increasing across the United States with 73 percent of new infections.
New York: Omicron has been able to leapfrog other variants and is currently the predominant variant of coronavirus found in the US with 73% of the new cases last week, health officials from the federal government declared Monday.
Its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed a six-fold rise in Omicron’s share of cases in just one week.
In many parts of the country, there is a higher rate. For example, Omicron is the main cause of approximately 90 percent or more of the new infections within areas like the New York area, the Southeast, and the industry-based Midwest along within the Pacific Northwest.
The rate for the nation indicates that over 650,000 Omicron-related infections were reported in the US in the last week.
Since June’s close, the delta variant has been the most prevalent, causing US infections. According to CDC statistics, in the last week of November, over 99.5 percent of coronaviruses had delta variants.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the latest figures reflect the same expansion observed across other nations. “These numbers are stark, but they’re not surprising,” she added.
Researchers in Africa first raised the alarm for Omicron about one month ago. Then, on November 26, the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of concern.” Omicron has since been spotted to be present in more than 90 countries.
A lot about the omicron variant is unknown, such as whether it is responsible for greater or lesser severe symptoms.
Initial studies suggest that vaccination recipients should receive an additional shot from having the best chance to prevent the omicron virus.
However, vaccination should provide a strong defense against severe illnesses and death even without an additional dose.
“All of us have a date with omicron,” stated Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior researcher of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“If you’re going to interact with society, if you’re going to have any type of life, omicron will be something you encounter, and the best way you can encounter this is to be fully vaccinated.”
Adalja said he wasn’t shocked by the CDC information showing that Omicron was overtaking delta in the US, considering what had been observed across South Africa, the UK, and Denmark.
He warned of the spread during the Christmas season, including new infections in the vaccines and serious problems for those who are not vaccinated.
Also, it could strain hospitals already overwhelmed by delta.
Dr. Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, noted that other countries experienced Omicron’s rapid growth.
However, the US data revealed a remarkable leap within a relatively short time.’
Topol added that it’s not clear how milder Omicron compares to other varieties. “That’s the big uncertainty now,” Topol declared. “We have to count on it being a lot of hospitalizations and a lot of severe disease from omicron.”
The estimates of the CDC are based on thousands of coronavirus specimens that are collected each week at universities, commercial labs, and the local and state health department. Scientists study their genetic sequences to determine which COVID-19 viruses are the most prevalent.
The week that ended on December 11, the share of Omicron of newly diagnosed infections across the US rose to 2.9 percent, up from 0.4 percent the week prior, the CDC previously reported.
However, CDC Tuesday stated that they were revising the numbers from earlier after studying more samples. The updated numbers indicate that 13 percent of the cases of December 11 had of the omicron type, and not three percent, CDC officials said.
While the delta strain causes many new infections, “I anticipate that over time that delta will be crowded out by omicron,” Walensky declared.
Devika Chowdhury – She is a professional news editor, writer, and blogger for the last 10 years. She is working with NewsGater as an off-beat news editor cum writer.