There are already 2.5 million instances of omicron variant COVID-19 every week in the United States, and researchers at Columbia University estimate that this number might rise to as high as 5.4 million per week by January 9.
“What a shocker. Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist who led the Columbia modeling study, described it as “disturbing” in an interview with the New York Times. As many as we’ve ever seen in a single year.
According to studies, New York City might see a spike in cases this week.
This strain’s peak number of cases has been reached in South Africa, but omicron-fueled outbreaks continue to spread worldwide, even among those who are completely vaccinated or have previously had past COVID infections, with the United States reaching 580,000 cases on Thursday.
People may be underreporting their COVID infections because they aren’t experiencing any symptoms, which could lead to an even higher number of cases, as could a lack of tests, at-home tests that aren’t reported to health agencies, holiday-related reporting delays, or even non-disclosure of COVID infection symptoms.
Other researchers have predicted that U.S. omicron infections would peak by the end of January, but those researchers warn the variant’s fast dissemination might imply a peak could happen before mid-January.
It’s not required to run models to understand where hospitals are going, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health epidemiologist William Hanage.
Hanage said that hospitals are having financial difficulties as the backdrop to all of this. “It’s unlikely that we’ll have that much capacity available. Omicron, of course, exacerbates the problem.”
An researcher at Emory University said the virus would fall quicker in major places like New York because there are less individuals to infect with it.
The sheer number of individuals being sick, even if omicron causes milder illnesses than delta or other varieties, might strain hospital capacity, particularly in regions where hospitals are already at capacity or in countries where vaccination rates are low, according to The Times.
When it comes to infections of the lungs, where other strains cause scarring and severe breathing problems, studies in mice and in hamsters have shown that omicron does less harm.
Researchers who have investigated how coronaviruses might infect a patient’s airway claim that the concept of a disease manifesting largely in the upper respiratory system is “developing,” according to computational biologist Roland Eils of the Berlin Institute of Health.
Despite the possibility of more isolated outbreaks, the country as a whole is still at risk “According to virologist Dr. Ravindra Gupta of the University of Cambridge, you can’t forecast how a virus would behave solely by studying its variations.
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