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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Our brief respite from COVID may be ending

    I have been following the transmission rates of COVID in Maryland posted on a daily basis on the Facebook page Maryland Vaccine Hunters.  It had been showing a rapid decline in transmission for the past month but in the past few days, the trends are slowing rising again in many counties like Howard.  Has the BA.2 variant of Omicron started to take hold in Maryland and the US?  If we look at what is happening in Europe we may be seeing what will be here very soon.  Below was reported in the New York Times today.

"Europe has often been a few weeks ahead of the U.S. with Covid trends — and cases are now rising in Britain, Germany, Italy, and some other parts of Europe. The main cause appears to be an even more contagious version of Omicron, known as BA.2."

"BA.2 has already begun to spread in the U.S., as well. It accounted for about 12 percent of newly diagnosed cases last week, according to the C.D.C. The variant may also be the reason that the amount of Covid virus detected in wastewater is rising in about one-third of American cities that track such data. Wastewater samples tend to be a leading indicator of case counts.

If that pattern repeats, BA.2 would be about to end two months of falling case counts in the U.S. Since mid-January, the number of new daily Covid cases has dropped more than 95 percent and is now at its lowest level since last summer, before the Delta surge."

   It is hard to know how bad this next surge in COVID will be but vaccines are still the only way to be sure that the new variant will likely not put you in the hospital or dying.


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