The rise in San Diego County coronavirus outbreaks has worried public health experts that an increase in hospitalizations and deaths could be on the way.
Omicron variants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, which are perfect more contagious from the variant that caused a winter outbreak in the US, are responsible for the recent increase in cases across the county – rival numbers observed in the Delta wave at the end of last summer. For example, confirmed cases exceeded 1,500 per day for three consecutive days in late May.
“The break we get between surges seems to be diminishing,” he said Corinne McDaniels-Davidsonepidemiologist and director of the San Diego State University Institute of Public Health.
Because that matters
Like other places across the country, San Diego is seeing another rise in COVID cases, which could lead to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.
“The question is: where does it go from here?” he said. “Will we see something near the Omicron wave we had this winter? “It all depends on what we choose to do as a society.”
Even more troubling, he said, are the figures from wastewater sampling suggests that the number of new cases could be counted, as more and more people rely on home trials. Looking at the cities that preceded San Diego in the latest COVID-19 outbreak, he worries that hospitalizations and deaths could soon begin to rise.
“I think that’s probably coming,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”
COVID has killed more than 5,300 people in San Diego County since the pandemic began. While hospitalizations reached their lowest point of the year in April, elements of the prefecture show that these numbers are rising throughout May.
Dr. David SmithHead of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Diego, said the rise in infections comes as no surprise.
“When new variants appear and immunity weakens within the community, then we should expect to see an increase in cases,” he said. However, he said he was surprised by how early the new wave hit. “I thought we were not going to rise until July. “That was the amazing place for me.”
Smith said it was important to look carefully at the new variants that are spreading locally and externally to determine how they will affect the population. The Omicron wave that hit the US during the winter generally caused milder symptoms, but turned out to be more deadly to most Americans than the Delta variant. Smith said he expects the coronavirus to continue to evolve for the rest of his career.
“Every wave of variation is different. “It’s the same virus, but it behaves differently both in terms of its infectivity and in terms of its clinical results,” he said, adding that he did not want people to be complacent. “There will be another wave and it will be like another pandemic.”
Given the latest rise in cases – and possible future waves – McDaniels-Davidson has said it wants the federal government to set standards for “on-ramps” to guide local officials on when they could reintroduce restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We have not seen this from the federal government and it was disappointing,” he said. “Local authorities in the county and state are in a very difficult position when they are not really supported by federal agencies.”
He added that among the increases, he would like to see more focus on ventilation and air filtration in public places, given their importance in preventing the spread of the virus.
“We know what works,” he said. “I wish we could use this time to implement these measures.”
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