Sign directs employees to take COVID-19 tests at the World Bank in Washington on October 19, 2021. Reuters
U.S. Covid cases are now at half the level of their peak. This is a sign that the country may be beginning to move past the severe pandemic wave caused by the delta variant. According to Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. has reported 72,000 new cases each day for the past week. This is 58% less than the 172,500 average daily cases that occurred on Sept. 13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that vaccination rates have increased in recent months, although more slowly than they were when the shots were first introduced to Americans. This is 58% less than the previous high of 172,500 daily cases on Sept. 13. I believe this is one of the last big surges. This is because so many people are vaccinated and because a lot of people have had Covid. Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who chairs molecular microbiology, immunology, and molecular microbiology, expressed optimism. There is now a lot more immunity.
Hospitalizations are also decreasing. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, 51,600 Americans are currently being hospitalized with Covid. This is roughly half of the 103,000 Covid victims who were reported at the highest point in September. The U.S. still reports 1,400 daily Covid-related deaths each day, but that number is 33% lower than the Sept. 22 peak of almost 2,100 deaths per hour. The case counts have dropped in all U.S. regions, with the exception of the South, which was hardest hit by the summer's delta wave. Experts in health advise caution for countries that have been affected by the pandemic. Despite positive trends, there are still concerns about rising infections in Europe and the possibility of a new variant.
Warning signs in Europe
Officials from the World Health Organization said that global cases have increased after two months of declining. This is despite the fact that the U.S. pandemic has eased. According to data from WHO, infections in Europe are driving the global increase while cases continue to drop in all other regions of WHO member countries. The number of cases worldwide rose by 4% in the week ending Sunday. Nearly 3 million new infections were reported during that time. The WHO estimated that 57% of all new cases were in Europe. This is concerning news for Americans, as pandemic trends in America have often followed the lead of those from overseas. For example, the European delta wave surged before it reached America this summer. Many times, what we see here in Europe is a harbinger of what you will see in the U.S., so it worries me that there are more cases, stated Dr. Barbara Taylor. She is an assistant dean and professor of infectious diseases at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. According to CNBC's analysis of Hopkins data, the population-adjusted cases in Europe, including the United Kingdom, recently outnumbered those in the United States. They are now up 14% compared to the previous week.
As of Oct. 28, the average daily number of new cases in Europe is 275 per million, while it was 218 per million in the United States.
A new variant is possible
Although the U.S. cases are declining, they remain high and there is still the possibility of new strains emerging. Taylor said that the last potential threat to us all is the possibility of Covid changing and mutating. She said that the emergence of a new Covid variant could alter everything about the pandemic in the next six months. The WHO monitors four Covid variants of concern. This is a list that refers to mutations that are more contagious or more severe, and which can be more difficult to treat with vaccines. The world's dominant variant is Delta. WHO researchers are monitoring more than 30 subtypes. New mutations that have not changed sufficiently to warrant individual classifications.
The sublineage delta plus is gaining popularity in the U.K. and some scientists believe it may be as contagious as delta. WHO reports that 93% of the delta plus cases are now in the UK thanks to two new modifications to the spike protein, which allows the virus to enter the human body. CNBC was told by experts in infectious diseases that there is no immediate reason to be concerned in the U.S. There is a finite chance that there will be a new strain. Casadevall stated that as long as the fire is burning, it will happen. "But if the numbers get lower and lower, it is less likely that it will happen," Casadevall said. Is there another variant? Yes. Are you sure it will happen? He said no.
There are dark clouds at the horizon