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The omicron COVID:

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    Today’s hyper-transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus has sent cases soaring across the country. But rising deaths — the grim marker of earlier dangerous surges — haven’t kept pace, and the average risk of dying from an infection is dropping to levels almost as low as seasonal influenza, leading epidemiologists say. Is the COVID virus — that has killed more than 1 million Americans — losing its fangs? George Lemp, an infectious disease epidemiologist who has analyzed California public health data through the pandemic, thinks so. He said death rates have fallen consistently over the last two and a half years. “COVID-19 case fatality rates are substantially lower and are rapidly approaching that of the annual flu,” said Lemp, former Director of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program at the University of California, Office of the President. Death rates, or case fatality ratios, reflect the number of reported deaths as a percentage of known cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an estimated 29 million flu illnesses and 28,000 deaths nationally in 2018-19, a death rate of 0.1%. For the season before...
    (CNN)The United States seems to have hit a Covid-19 plateau, with more than 40,000 people hospitalized and more than 400 deaths a day consistently over the past month or so. It's a dramatic improvement from this winter -- there were four times as many hospitalizations and nearly six times as many deaths at the peak of the first Omicron wave -- but still stubbornly high numbers. And there are big question marks around what might happen next, as the coronavirus' evolution remains quite elusive 2½ years into the pandemic. "We've never really cracked that: why these surges go up and down, how long it stays up and how fast it comes down," said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research. "All these things are still somewhat of a mystery."BA.5 remains the dominant subvariant in the US for now, causing most new cases as it has since the last week of June. Read MoreData from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published Tuesday, shows that the Omicron offshoot accounted for 87% of new...
    COVID cases in the UK are tumbling as the worst of the summer wave is over. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show infections fell by 16 per cent last week – from 3.8million to 3.2m – in the first decline for eight weeks. 2Positive Covid cases in the UK officially fell last week for the first time in two monthsCredit: PA 2ONS figures show infections are falling in every part of England The surge peaked at just 75 per cent of the levels seen in the spring. Sarah Crofts, stats expert at the ONS, said: “Our most recent data suggest that we may now be over the peak of the latest wave of infections across the UK. “We have seen welcome decreases among most parts of the UK and in all age groups, although rates still remain among the highest seen during the pandemic. “With summer holidays starting and more people travelling, we will continue to closely monitor the data.” Some scientists feared cases would hit another record high – but they have trailed off without the need...
    Share this: The omicron subvariant known as BA.5 was first detected in South Africa in February 2022 and spread rapidly throughout the world. As of the second week of July 2022, BA.5 constituted nearly 80% of COVID-19 variants in the United States. Soon after researchers in South Africa reported the original version of the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) on Nov. 24, 2021, many scientists – including me – speculated that if omicron’s numerous mutations made it either more transmissible or better at immune evasion than the preceding delta variant, omicron could become the dominant variant around the world. The omicron variant did indeed become dominant early in 2022, and several sublineages, or subvariants, of omicron have since emerged: BA.1, BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5, among others. With the continued appearance of such highly transmissible variants, it is evident that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is effectively using classic techniques that viruses use to escape the immune system. These escape strategies range from changing the shape of key proteins recognized by your immune system’s protective antibodies to camouflaging its genetic material to...
    As successive waves of COVID-19 have swept across the Southland, Michael Matteo Rossi, a 35 year-old filmmaker who lives in Los Feliz, has gamely masked up whenever he shopped, ate out or visited with his parents, who are in their 70s. “I’ve never been like someone who walks into a Walmart without a mask, looking to make a big stink,” said Rossi, who is vaccinated. “I’m all about respect.” But now, with Los Angeles County potentially on the verge of a renewed indoor masking mandate, his feelings have changed. With hospitalizations and deaths far below the peaks of the winter Omicron surge, Rossi said he feels safe mingling, maskless, in indoor spaces with his parents and friends. His surgical mask, once an ever-present accessory, is abandoned somewhere in his car. He hopes it’s not coming back. It may not need to. Support for renewed mask mandates has softened among medical and public health professionals as well. Despite L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer’s plans to reinstate a mask mandate as soon as Friday if coronavirus conditions didn’t...
    A COVID expert has warned people of the two symptoms that mean you should assume you have the virus when you wake up. Professor Tim Spector said that fatigue in the morning, even after a good night's sleep, and a sore throat may be tell-tale signs you have the virus. 1Professor Tim Spector has warned people of the two symptoms that mean you should assume you have the virus when waking upCredit: Alamy The prof, who heads up the ZOE Health Study, added that a sore throat is more commonly reported in people with Covid than a regular cold. Professor Spector tweeted his advice: "Twice as many covid cases as common colds currently- the ratio has never been so high. "Symptoms much the same except generally more fatigue and sore throat - so best to assume it’s Covid! "Hopefully this wave will be over soon." Read more in HealthFRESH PANDEMIC Monkeypox declared global emergency by WHO after 70 countries affected'IT WAS HELL' I travelled to Turkey to get teeth like Rylan but new smile left me suicidal Prof Spector added that if...
    JOE Biden has tested positive for Covid. It comes just weeks after Biden coughed his way through a speech at The White House, where he spoke about November's jobs numbers and the new coronavirus strain. 1Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid Attentive viewers noticed that the president had a hoarse voice, and speculated online about his health before Biden confirmed he was battling a cold. “I am ok. I have a test every day, a COVID test, checking for all the strands. What I have is a one-and-a-half-year-old grandson who had a cold who likes to kiss his Pop. And he’s been kissing me — anyway, it’s just a cold," the president said. Late last year, Biden had a health scare following a colonoscopy. The president had a polyp that was "benign" but thought to be "pre-cancerous" removed after having a routine check-up. Physician Kevin O'Connor said that the growth was "similar to the polyp which he had removed in 2008." The doctor added that "no further action is required at this time." Biden should receive another colonoscopy in 7 to ten years, he said....
    (CNN) — Once again, Covid-19 seems to be everywhere. If you feel caught off-guard, you aren’t alone. After the Omicron tidal wave washed over the United States in January and the smaller rise in cases in the spring caused by the BA.2 subvariant, it might have seemed like the coronavirus could be ignored for a while. After all, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in December that nearly all Americans had been vaccinated or have antibodies from a past infection. Surely all that immunity bought some breathing room. READ MORE: Stockton Approves New Water Regulations, $100 A Day Fine For ViolatorsBut suddenly, many people who had recovered from Covid-19 as recently as March or April found themselves exhausted, coughing and staring at two red lines on a rapid test. How could this be happening again — and so soon? The culprit this time is yet another Omicron offshoot, BA.5. It has three key mutations in its spike protein that make it both better at infecting our cells and more adept at slipping past our immune defenses. In just over...
    By Brenda Goodma | CNN Once again, Covid-19 seems to everywhere. If you feel caught off-guard, you aren’t alone. After the Omicron tidal wave of that washed over the United States in January and the smaller rise in cases in the spring caused by the BA.2 subvariant, it might have seemed like the coronavirus could be ignored for a while. After all, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in December that nearly all Americans had been vaccinated or have antibodies from a past infection. Surely all that immunity bought some breathing room. But suddenly, many people who had recovered from Covid-19 as recently as March or April found themselves exhausted, coughing and staring at two red lines on a rapid test. How could this be happening again — and so soon? The culprit this time is yet another Omicron offshoot, BA.5. It has three key mutations in its spike protein that make it both better at infecting our cells and more adept at slipping past our immune defenses. RELATED: Q&A: Someone in your family has COVID. Now...
    (CNN)Once again, Covid-19 seems to everywhere. If you feel caught off-guard, you aren't alone. After the Omicron tidal wave of that washed over the United States in January and the smaller rise in cases in the spring caused by the BA.2 subvariant, it might have seemed like the coronavirus could be ignored for a while. After all, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in December that nearly all Americans had been vaccinated or have antibodies from a past infection. Surely all that immunity bought some breathing room.But suddenly, many people who had recovered from Covid-19 as recently as March or April found themselves exhausted, coughing and staring at two red lines on a rapid test. How could this be happening again -- and so soon? Officials urge Americans over 50 to get Covid-19 booster right away, but younger adults have to waitThe culprit this time is yet another Omicron offshoot, BA.5. It has three key mutations in its spike protein that make it both better at infecting our cells and more adept at slipping past our immune...
    GENEVA (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases reported worldwide rose for the fifth week in a row while the number of deaths remained relatively stable, the World Health Organization reported Thursday. In the U.N. health agency’s weekly review of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO said there were 5.7 million new infections confirmed last week, marking a 6% increase. There were 9.800 deaths, roughly similar to the previous week’s figure. Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic still qualifies as a global emergency and he was “concerned” about the recent spike. “The virus is running freely, and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden,” he said during a Tuesday press briefing. “New waves of the virus demonstrate again that COVID-19 is nowhere near over.” In the last two weeks, cases of COVID-19 reported to WHO surged 30%, driven largely by the hugely infectious omicron relatives, BA.4 and BA.5. The two omicron subvariants have shown a worrisome ability to re-infect people previously vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID. According to WHO, the biggest...
    CORONAVIRUS cases have hit a 'record high' in the UK as new Omicron strains circulate. BA.4 and BA.5 have caused an uptick in infections, with many Brits experiencing new symptoms. 1Many people catching Covid are experiencing a sore throat and a headacheCredit: Getty Most people who have caught the bug in the last few months have had illness similar to a cold. The Omicron strain has been found to be milder than others that came before it. The mammoth rollout of vaccines across the UK has also helped to protect millions of Brits. But as viruses evolve, so do the symptoms and the team at the ZOE Symptom Tracker App revealed the top 20 that people need to look out for. Read more on Covid-19NINJA STRAIN Omicron sub-variant spreading through UK could be ‘worst yet’, expert warnsRESURGENCE Covid daily cases hit ‘record high’ of 351,000 as new variant runs rampant They are: Sore throat Headache Blocked nose Cough no phlegm Runny nose Cough with phlegm Hoarse voice Sneezing Fatigue Muscle pains, aches Dizzy light-headed Swollen neck glands Eye...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Governor JB Pritzker is updating the state's executive order on the COVID pandemic.Under the requirements now, long-term care facilities in areas with moderate transmission will have to test staff every week who are not up to date with COVID vaccinations.Meanwhile, fears of a COVID resurgence are on the rise.Downtown streets are busy again and the return to normalcy is what people want for their summer of 2022, but as the omicron BA. 5 variant now the dominant COVID strain, doctors warn people they should be worried about yet another pandemic wave."I know everyone is tired of this pandemic and everyone is tired of taking these precautions, but I assure you the virus not done with us yet and it will continue to evolve," said Dr. Jonathan Martin, a Cook County Health infectious disease specialist.The virus has evolved into a strain that is highly transmissible. The latest strain, BA.5, can sidestep immunity from previous omicron infections and vaccinations, health officials say.RELATED: 'COVID is not done with us': Why is the BA.5 COVID-19 variant so contagious?"There is some early...
    (CNN)Nearly two-and-a-half years since the coronavirus pandemic began, the most infectious and transmissible variant yet has arrived.Repeated Covid-19 waves have left millions of people dead, with only vaccines helping to blunt the toll. Now the virus is spreading again — evolving, escaping immunity and driving an uptick in cases and hospitalizations. The latest version of its shape-shifting, BA.5, is a clear sign that the pandemic is far from over.The newest offshoot of Omicron, along with a closely related variant, BA.4, are fueling a global surge in cases — 30% over the past fortnight, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).In Europe, the Omicron subvariants are powering a spike in cases of about 25%, though Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program, has said that number may actually be higher, given the "almost collapse in testing." BA.5 is on the march in China, ratcheting anxieties that major cities there may soon re-enforce strict lockdown measures that were only recently lifted. And the same variant has become the dominant strain in the United States, where it accounted for...
    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Doctors say the worst COVID subvariant is here and it comes with more problems that impact all of us.It's never been easier to get infected with COVID, even if you're vaccinated. The reason, BA.5.California is never called a red state, but when it comes to COVID transmission the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention couldn't be more clear -- it's nearly all red. According to this map, almost every county across the state - including the entire Bay Area - is red signaling high levels of COVID community transmission."I think it could be our second worst surge in terms of numbers of cases," said UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. "We have to be careful."The CDC estimates more than half of new COVID cases stem from omicron's subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. But, Dr. Chin-Hong explains why the latter is the one to worry about.RELATED: Omicron subvariants BA.4, BA.5 are spreading 'like wildfire'"The real superpower of BA.5 is reinfections," said Chin-Hong. "And because BA.5 is new, if you got infected two or three weeks ago, it's not likely BA.5,...
    With so many businesses and city and state governments having lifted their mask and social distancing requirements, many people believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. But it isn’t. COVID-19’s Omicron variant is still highly infectious, although thanks to vaccinations, many of the infections that are occurring are relatively mild and don’t require hospitalization. Dr. Anthony Fauci, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and “Real Time” host Bill Maher are among the many vaccinated Americans who have had milder COVID-19 infections and didn’t need to be hospitalized. BA.5 is an Omicron subvariant, and according to Daily Beast reporter David Axe, it seems to be the most “contagious” version of COVID-19 yet. “The latest subvariant of the novel coronavirus to become dominant in Europe, the United States and other places is…. in many ways, the worst so far,” Axe reports in an article published by the Beast on July 8. “The BA.5 subvariant of the basic Omicron variant appears to be more contagious than any previous form of the virus. It’s apparently better at dodging our...
    The latest subvariant of the novel coronavirus to become dominant in Europe, the United States, and other places is also, in many ways, the worst so far. The BA.5 subvariant of the basic Omicron variant appears to be more contagious than any previous form of the virus. It’s apparently better at dodging our antibodies, too—meaning it might be more likely to cause breakthrough and repeat infections. Vaccines and boosters are still the best defense. There are even Omicron-specific booster jabs in development that, in coming months, could make the best vaccines more effective against BA.5 and its genetic cousins. Still, BA.5’s ongoing romp across half the planet is a strong reminder that the COVID pandemic isn’t over. “We’re not done yet, by any stretch,” Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California, wrote on his Substack. High levels of at least partial immunity from vaccines and past infection continue to prevent the worst outcomes—mass hospitalization and death. But globally, raw case numbers are surging, with serious implications for potentially millions of people who face a...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As cases rise with the new COVID-19 BA.5 subvariant, it can spread to those who have recent immunity, and together with BA.4, another subvariant, the two are responsible for the majority of cases in the U.S. With a new wave of COVID comes a new batch of questions about reinfection, first infections, vaccines and boosters. Even positivity rates, one infectious disease specialist told CBS13, may likely be an undercount because of the rise in popularity of home testing. READ MORE: Megan Rapinoe, Denzel Washington, Steve Jobs Among 17 Honored By Pres. Biden With The Medal Of FreedomAs of Thursday, California has a 15% positivity rate, up from 13.2% the week before. This is the largest positivity rate in California that is reaching numbers established in January when the Omicron variant fueled another surge and with it, a record number of COVID cases. Now, amid another wave, Omicron subvariants are behind the majority of positive cases and are more transmissible. What makes BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants different than previous subvariants?These subvariants have mutations in the spike proteins that...
    Dr. Anthony Fauci. In the last three weeks, Dr. Anthony Fauci tested positive for COVID-19 using an at-home test after experiencing mild symptoms. Within the next day, the symptoms grew slightly worse and Fauci took the recommended step, obtaining a prescription for the anti-viral drug Paxlovid and taking a five day course of treatment. During this treatment, he reportedly felt well, did not experience any serious side effects, and at the end of the treatment he tested negative for COVID-19. Case closed. Only not so much. Because within the next few days, Fauci began to experience symptoms again. On taking a second test, he found that he was once again COVID-19 positive. In an remote appearance at the Global Health Forum, Fauci described his symptoms as “much worse” than at the time of his initial test. He launched into a second round of treatment with Paxlovid, and at the time of the interview on June 28 reported that he felt “reasonably good” though he still had symptoms.  Taking a second course of Paxlovid is controversial, as it is currently not recommended...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New variants of COVID-19 are, likely, to continue at a rapid pace and with them comes the potential they could become highly transmissible. This is why infectious disease doctors in Northern California tell CBS13 the risk of COVID still exists. Three doctors from across Northern California at UC Davis, Stanford, and UC San Francisco answered CBS13’s questions about the future of COVID, the current Omicron subvariants, and why, anecdotally, it feels like the risk of reinfection or first-time infection with COVID-19 is at an all time high. READ MORE: City Of Lathrop Officially Opens New Police DepartmentThe positivity rate in California over the last week is 13.2% and the number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 174,882,919, an increase of 525,804 tests from the prior day total. “Because omicron is changing so quickly, people that got infected with BA 2 easily susceptible to new kids on the block BA 4 and BA 5,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a Professor and Associate Dean for Regional Campuses at UC San Francisco. Chin-Hong described the...
    (CNN)The US Food and Drug Administration's independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted Tuesday to support recommending inclusion of an Omicron specific component for a Covid-19 booster vaccine.Twenty-one voting members of the FDA's independent committee voted on the question: "Does the committee recommend inclusion of a SARS-CoV-2 Omicron component for COVID-19 booster vaccines in the United States?" Nineteen of the members voted yes, two voted no. CDC director signs off on Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for people ages 6 through 17 "I voted in favor of Omicron because I think it's important to broaden immunity," said Dr. Wayne Marasco, a professor of medicine with the department of cancer immunology & virology Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School. "I will say that I was pretty impressed today that we can do better."Read More"I think this is a step in the right direction, but we have to reevaluate this as we move forward," he added.The committee felt that a modified vaccine would offer broader protection to match the coronavirus strain that is in circulation now. Two Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and...
    Beijing (CNN)China's Covid strategy was ahead of the curve at the start of the pandemic. But in year three, it's way behind.Some of its citizens have taken to contrasting the country's approach -- unfavorably -- to that of North Korea, with many arguing that in comparison, the hermit nation has shared more "scientific" information about Covid to the public. China stands isolated from the world in pursuing a zero-tolerance approach that critics say is rooted more in political ideology than science. And when that ideology is so heavily entwined with Chinese leader Xi Jinping's leadership, it's not going to change anytime soon.Residents are growing increasingly fatigued, defiant, and mocking of the approach, while experts are questioning how a country that prides itself on cutting-edge technology and scientific innovation could find itself on a course so radically different to the rest of the world.In China, science-based approaches to the virus are not only being sidelined, but deliberately silenced. The head of the World Health Organization's comments were scrubbed from the internet after he called China's Covid strategy "unsustainable."Read MoreIn another particularly...
    Covid sufferers who caught the Omicron variant will not be protected from catching it again, according to scientists at Imperial College London. The investigators say Omicron and its evolutions could explain why Covid cases remain higher than predicted in the UK. Earlier studies found that past illnesses with Covid provided some immunity against re-infection - but the latest research indicates that is not the case with the Omicron variant, The Telegraph reports. Prof Danny Altmann from the Imperial College's Department of Immunology and Inflammation, said: 'The message is a little bleak. Omicron and its variants are great at breakthroughs but bad at inducing immunity, thus we get reinfections ad nauseum and a badly depleted workforce. 'Not only can it break through vaccine defences, it looks to leave very few of the hallmarks we'd expect on the immune system. 'It's more stealthy than previous variants and flies under the radar, so the immune system is unable to remember it.' Covid sufferers who caught the Omicron variant will not be protected from catching it again, according to scientists Earlier studies found that...
    In this photo illustration the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Novavax logos are seen behind a medical syringe and vials.Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine will face the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration's independent immunization experts this week, a crucial step on the path toward U.S. regulatory authorization two years after the Maryland biotech company received taxpayer funding to develop the shots. The committee of vaccine experts will weigh the safety of Novavax's shots and their effectiveness at preventing Covid during an all-day public meeting on Tuesday. If the committee endorses the vaccine, the FDA will almost certainly give the green light for doses to ship from Novavax's manufacturing partner the Serum Institute of India to the U.S. The company's shots have been authorized in 41 countries outside the U.S., including Australia, Canada, and the European Union. "We feel very confident in the data that we have submitted," said Novavax spokeswoman Silvia Taylor. "If prior success is any indication for future success, we feel really good," Taylor said. Novavax was an early participant...
    (CNN)Heading into what seems like a fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with cases almost quadrupling over the last two months and hospitalizations beginning to increase as well, much of the country seems content to simply go about its business. Stores are full of maskless shoppers, baseball stadiums are crowded and there are lines outside many popular restaurants. Kent Sepkowitz If you didn't know that more than 100,000 people a day were being diagnosed with Covid-19, you might think that the pandemic had come and gone. Indeed, according to a recent Axios/Ipsos poll, this is the view of about a third of the country. They appear to be "done with Covid." If only. The pandemic is not over, nor have we arrived in the gauzy realm referred to as endemic infection in which all Covid-19 spikes are local, not national, and each of us is left to just deal with it. No, instead, the Covid-19 pandemic is still barreling along -- and will be for the foreseeable future. Read More But, thankfully, the pandemic has changed. The newest dominant...
    LONDON (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths are still falling globally after peaking in January, the World Health Organization said. In its latest weekly assessment of the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said there were more than 3.7 million new infections and 9,000 deaths in the last week, drops of 3% and 11% respectively. COVID-19 cases rose in only two regions of the world: the Americas and the Western Pacific. Deaths increased by 30% in the Middle East, but were stable or decreased everywhere else. WHO said it is tracking all omicron subvariants as “variants of concern.” It noted that countries which had a significant wave of disease caused by the omicron subvariant BA.2 appeared to be less affected by other subvariants like BA.4 and BA.5, which were responsible for the latest surge of disease in South Africa. Salim Abdool Karim, an infectious diseases expert at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said it appeared that South Africa had passed its most recent wave of COVID-19 caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants; the country has...
    After weeks at a two-year low, COVID cases are on the rise again in some countries. In the United States, there were 100,000 daily new infections, on average–up from 30,000 in mid-March. The trend is intensifying an important debate in epidemiological circles. What’s the best strategy for preventing catastrophic mass death from the worst possible new COVID variants? New restrictions? New vaccines? New therapies? A mix of the three? Whatever consensus takes shape could guide us into the pandemic’s fourth year. But there’s a catch, of course. Public-health costs money. And in the world’s richest country, the United States, a few right-wing politicians are doing their damndest to make sure no new money is available to speed up development, production and distribution of new vaccines and therapies. Vaccine development is stalling. China is still pushing locally-made vaccines that don’t work very well. The leading Western vaccine-manufacturers are focusing on developing boosters specifically for the recent Omicron variant. But by the time these boosters are ready in the fall, Omicron is likely to have been replaced by a new and more...
    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It used to be that once infected with COVID-19, your body would build up enough immunity to avoid another infection for weeks and sometimes even months, but scientists are noticing that omicron's subvariant BA.2.12.1 is changing that."You don't have great protection having been infected with BA.1," said Dr. Warner C. Greene, senior investigator for the Gladstone Institutes.Meaning, even if you had COVID you can still get infected with BA.2.12.1."It's immunosuppressive. It's acquiring these mutations which make it like a stealth virus. We have our immune system at the ready trying to prevent these infections, but the virus is now learning how to elude the antibodies. It has less success against the T-cells thank goodness," said Dr. Greene.VIDEO: Here's why some people still get COVID even after being vaccinated and double-boosted EMBED More News Videos Dr. Gandhi of UCSF says that even if you are vaccinated, double boosted and doing everything right, this omicron subvariant can still infect you. Vaccines continue to protect against severe disease and hospitalizations, but Dr. Greene believes more people will get reinfected."Omicron...
    In this article NVAXRafael Henrique | LightRocket | Getty ImagesNovavax on Monday reported its first profitable quarter as its Covid vaccine rolls out across several countries around the world, though the company still missed earnings and revenue expectations. Novavax stock was down more than 8% in after hours trading. Novavax reported net income of $203 million in the first quarter, compared to a net loss of $222.7 million the same period last year. The company reiterated its 2022 revenue guidance of $4 billion to $5 billion. Here's how the company performed compared with what Wall Street expected, based on analysts' average estimates compiled by Refinitiv: Adjusted earnings: $2.56 per share, vs. $2.69 expected Revenue: $704 million, vs. $845 million expected Novavax's two-dose Covid vaccine for adults ages 18 and older could receive authorization in the U.S. as early as this summer. The Food and Drug Administration's committee of independent advisors is set to meet June 7 to review the data on the shot and make a recommendation on whether it should be cleared for use. Novavax...
    California’s COVID-19 death toll is on the cusp of 90,000, a tally that comes as the U.S. is nearing its own milestone of 1 million deaths. As of Friday, California had reported 89,851 cumulative deaths since the start of the pandemic, up 269 from the previous week. At this pace, the state is likely to surpass 90,000 COVID-19 fatalities this week. No state has suffered more total pandemic-related deaths than California. However, on a per capita basis, California has the 11th-lowest cumulative COVID-19 death rate — with 229.5 deaths for every 100,000 residents, according to data compiled by The Times. Roughly a year ago, a similar analysis revealed California had the 29th highest cumulative COVID-19 death rate of any state. California also now has the lowest cumulative COVID-19 death rate of the nation’s 10 most populous states. By comparison, the cumulative COVID-19 death rate in Florida is 359.4 per 100,000 residents. In New York, it’s 348.8; and in Texas, it’s 316.1. World & Nation Nearly 15 million deaths in the last two years were associated with COVID-19,...
    Millions of people around the world are hoping that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Even though it is quite possible to be fully vaccinated and boosted and still get COVID-19, infections among the fully vaccinated are mostly milder infections. But journalist David Axe, in an article published by the Daily Beast on May 6, warns that new COVID-19 variants and subvariants are emerging rapidly — and they’re highly infectious. “You might not know it by looking around you at all those unmasked faces, but there’s still an awful lot of novel coronavirus out there,” Axe observes. “And the virus appears to be mutating faster than ever, producing steadily more contagious variants and subvariants. The evolutionary trend with SARS-CoV-2 might not mean there are definitely going to be big surges in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, at least not everywhere or for very long. But it underscores an uncomfortable truth: that despite the lifting of COVID restrictions in most countries that aren’t China — despite many people’s eagerness to move past the pain and uncertainty of the past...
    (CNN)Covid-19 cases are spiking in South Africa, and public health experts in the United States are following the data closely, waiting to see what it might reveal about how immunity from previous infections behaves over time.South Africa has been a bellwether before. Scientists there were the first to discover the Omicron variant of the coronavirus late last year, setting off a global chain reaction. After a pandemic peak in December, cases in the country declined, but now they're on the rise again -- along with positivity rates and hospitalizations. It could spell South Africa's fifth wave.The spike has been tied to two new sublineages of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, which the World Health Organization added to its monitoring list last month. They're dominating transmission in the country, accounting for almost 60% of all new Covid-19 cases by the end of April, according to South Africa's National Institute of Communicable Diseases. South African scientists have found that BA.4 and BA.5 can evade antibodies from previous infection well enough to spark a new wave, but are less likely to do so in...
    ANYONE who had Covid in the last six months could be at risk of a deadly side effect, a study found. People who caught the bug less than half a year ago are more likely to get blood clots. 2People who tested positive for Covid in the last six months are at higher risk of a blood clotCredit: PA Researchers from Sweden discovered there is a risk of deep vein thrombosis up to three months post-infection and of a blood clot in the lung up to six months later. There is also a greater chance of a "bleeding event" in the two months after being ill. This is extra evidence vaccines are vitally important in protecting against Covid complications, which aren't limited to when you are actually infected. Omicron, which has become dominant in the last six months, generally causes a milder illness - with most people recovering at home. Read more on CovidSPOT THE SIGNS Doctors warn of new surprising Omicron symptom you must NOT ignoreVIRAL SPREAD 637 cases of new Covid variant detected in UK as two Omicron...
    By Laura Ungar | Associated Press What do we know about the new omicron mutant? It’s a descendant of the earlier super-contagious “stealth omicron” and has quickly gained ground in the United States. BA.2.12.1 was responsible for 29% of new COVID-19 infections nationally last week, according to data reported Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it caused 58% of reported infections in the New York region. The variant has been detected in at least 13 other countries, but the U.S. has the highest levels of it so far. Scientists say it spreads even faster than stealth omicron. Cases are rising in places with increasing levels of the BA.2.12.1 variant, such as central New York, suggesting something about it is causing it to out-compete others, says Eli Rosenberg of New York state’s health department. It appears a similar pattern will likely play out nationally, says Kirsten St. George, director of virology at New York state’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory. Scientists are trying to figure out other aspects of BA.2.12.1, including whether vaccines are as effective against it...
    What do we know about the new omicron mutant? It’s a descendant of the earlier super-contagious “stealth omicron” and has quickly gained ground in the United States. BA.2.12.1 was responsible for 29% of new COVID-19 infections nationally last week, according to data reported Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it caused 58% of reported infections in the New York region. The variant has been detected in at least 13 other countries, but the U.S. has the highest levels of it so far. Scientists say it spreads even faster than stealth omicron. Cases are rising in places with increasing levels of the BA.2.12.1 variant, such as central New York, suggesting something about it is causing it to out-compete others, says Eli Rosenberg of New York state’s health department. It appears a similar pattern will likely play out nationally, says Kirsten St. George, director of virology at New York state’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory. Scientists are trying to figure out other aspects of BA.2.12.1, including whether vaccines are as effective against it as previous variants. ___ The AP...
    DENVER (CBS4)– COVID cases are on the rise again in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the culprits are variants of Omicron. (credit: CBS) The 7-day positivity rate is above 5% and is expected to climb in the coming weeks. The experts hope the high level of community immunity from vaccinations and prior infections will protect the state from a surge of severe illness. “It’s uncertain how really likely a scenario where we would see this virus gain the ability to cause more serious disease, that is how virsus evolve but that is what we want to be prepared for,” said Colorado State Epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy. (credit: CBS) More than 4 million people in Colorado have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Those who qualify for the booster are encouraged to get one.
    (CNN)When Delta Air Lines referred to Covid-19 as an "ordinary seasonal virus" after a federal judge struck down the Biden administration's mask mandate for public transportation, they were partly right: there is some evidence that it is seasonal. But it is far from ordinary, and it's still not the same as the flu.The lifting of the transportation mask mandate marks another turning point in the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, and there are many ways to describe the situation at this inflection point. Covid is widespreadWhile not ordinary, Covid-19 certainly is common. Is wearing a mask while traveling still helpful if youre the only one?Over the past two years, official case counts suggest nearly a quarter of the country has been infected with coronavirus, and the number of actual infections is estimated to be many times higher than what has been reported. Read MoreDespite a drastic drop in cases over the past couple of months, more than 35,000 people in the US are infected daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins University -- enough to fill Madison Square Garden...
    A third dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 raises Omicron-fighting antibody levels 36-fold, the jabs manufacturer said today.  The New York City-based pharmaceutical giant said its results 'reinforce' offering children top-up jabs to 'maintain' protection against the virus. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — vaccine regulator in the U.S. — has warned it will not approve extra shots for the age group until more are fully vaccinated. America could become one of the first countries in the world to approve Covid boosters for over-5s, behind Italy which authorized them for the age group in December. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for use among five to 11-year-olds in the U.S. as a first and second dose. The Moderna and Janssen shots — also used in the vaccine roll out — are only approved for over-18s. Pfizer announced today that a third dose of its Covid vaccine raised Omicron-fighting antibody levels 36-fold among children aged five to 11. Drug regulators in the U.S. are yet to approve a third dose of the...
    A man is given a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at pop-up testing site in New York, April 11, 2022.Brendan McDermid | Reuters Covid infections are rising again in the U.S. with outbreaks in New York City and Washington, D.C. resulting in senior government officials coming down with the virus as the more contagious omicron BA.2 subvariant sweeps across the country. BA.2 now represents of 86% of new cases, almost completely displacing the earlier version of omicron that fueled the unprecedented winter surge, according to Covid surveillance data published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The BA.2 subvariant is anywhere from 30% to 80% more transmissible than the earlier omicron, BA.1, according to studies from the U.K. and Denmark. The U.S. reported a daily average of about 29,000 new infections as of Sunday, a 10% increase over the prior two weeks, according to data from the CDC. However, infections and hospitalization are still more than 90% below the peak of the omicron surge in January. Though infections are rising, most counties still have low levels of Covid transmission...
    (CNN) — Covid-19 case numbers have begun to edge up in the United States, and nearly all of them are caused by the Omicron subvariant BA.2. According to the latest estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BA.2 caused 86% of new Covid-19 cases nationwide last week. READ MORE: Teen, 15, Shot In AnnapolisIn some ways, this feels like a familiar place. Cases are going up again. At least one major city is reinstating its mask mandate. Broadway shows have canceled some performances. But there continue to be reasons for optimism. Despite BA.2’s near-complete takeover from two other circulating Omicron subvariants, BA.1 and BA 1.1, US hospitalizations are at record low levels, and they continue to drop. Deaths also continue to fall. Even though those numbers tend to lag behind case counts, the US hasn’t seen a steep increase in infections. Whether that’s likely to happen is still an open question. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, doesn’t know what BA.2 will do. As a nation, transmission has to...
    (CNN)Covid-19 case numbers have begun to edge up in the United States, and nearly all of them are caused by the Omicron subvariant BA.2.According to the latest estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BA.2 caused 86% of new Covid-19 cases nationwide last week.In some ways, this feels like a familiar place. Cases are going up again. At least one major city is reinstating its mask mandate. Broadway shows have canceled some performances. But there continue to be reasons for optimism.Despite BA.2's near-complete takeover from two other circulating Omicron subvariants, BA.1 and BA 1.1, US hospitalizations are at record low levels, and they continue to drop. Deaths also continue to fall. Read MoreEven though those numbers tend to lag behind case counts, the US hasn't seen a steep increase in infections. Whether that's likely to happen is still an open question.Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, doesn't know what BA.2 will do. As a nation, transmission has to get down to a level that's "low enough that it doesn't...
    A BUNCH of new Covid variants have cropped up in Europe in the past few weeks. Being sisters, sub-variants or combinations of those that have come before, you may be a little confused about them - and their significance. 1Illustration of the coronavirusCredit: Getty Currently, BA.2 is dominant in the UK. It is a “sister” of the original Omicron, BA.1. They are from the same lineage or “family”. Only these two variants are designated a “concern” in the UK - but they are actually more mild in terms of disease severity. All evolved versions of the coronavirus have mutations which make it behave slightly differently. Read more on coronavirusWATCH OUT From Covid toe to burping - 9 unusual virus symptoms and side effects to spotJABULOUS Omicron symptoms last for HALF the length of a cold - IF you’re fully jabbed Whether these changes give it an advantage or not - such as to spread faster, cause more severe disease or evade immunity - is the real concern. We give a breakdown of the new virus strains in Europe that...
    As of April 5 2022, 1,125 cases of XE — a new scombinant subvariant — have been identified in the U.K., up from 637 on March 25.Dominic Lipinski | Pa Images | Getty Images Japan has reported its first case of omicron XE — a new Covid-19 strain first detected in the U.K. — just as British cases of the subvariant rise. The XE variant was found in a woman in her 30s who arrived at Narita International Airport from the U.S. on March 26. The woman, whose nationality was not immediately disclosed, was asymptomatic, Japan's health ministry said Monday. It comes as cases of the new strain have almost doubled in Britain, according to the latest statistics from the U.K. Health Security Agency. As of April 5, 1,125 cases of XE had been identified in the U.K., up from 637 on March 25. The earliest confirmed case has a specimen date of Jan. 19 of this year, suggesting it could have been in circulation in the population for several months. XE has since been detected in Thailand, India and Israel. It is...
    THE UK has seen daily cases drop by a third in a week - with 91,304 new cases logged over the weekend. Infections have fallen significantly for the past two Monday's, a positive sign the latest wave has peaked. 1 Deaths are still high at 348, but this figure covers the whole weekend. It is almost the same number as the fatalities reported in a single day on Friday, and is hopefully another promising sign. The fall in infections does also coincide with free tests ending, but cases had started to fall before Brits were asked to pay for lateral flow tests. It comes as health chiefs have called for Covid restrictions - such as masks and mixing limits - to be brought back as patients in hospital rises. Read more on OmicronJABULOUS Omicron symptoms last for HALF the length of a cold - IF you’re fully jabbedBUG BEAR NHS chiefs call for return of masks & limit indoor mixing after cases hit new high The increase in people going onto wards with the virus follows on from a rise...
    OMICRON symptoms last for half the length of a common cold, a new study has found. People who are fully vaccinated can expect to bounce back from the bug in quicker timeframe than if they have the sniffles. 2People who have had three jabs and catch Omicron are more likely to have a shorter illness, research foundCredit: LNP The new research, from King's College London, looked at thousands of vaccinated people who caught Omicron, and compared those who had two or three jabs. Those who had the triple shot fared far better, suffering symptoms for an average of 4.4 days, with those just double jabbed feeling ill for 8.3 days. The common cold tends to hang on for around seven to ten days. However, it is not clear if this study took BA.2 into account, which much of the nation is now picking up. Read more on CovidONE'S SO TIRED The Queen reveals battle with Covid left her ‘tired and exhausted’ SPOT THE SIGNS Doctors warn of new surprising Omicron symptom you must NOT ignore But most studies have found...
    Omicron symptoms disappear in half the time of the common cold, provided the sufferer has had a Covid booster shot, a new study has shown. Scientists at King’s College London studied 62,000 vaccinated people during the Omicron outbreak in the UK and found remarkable differences in recovery times depending on how many doses they had received.  Those who were triple jabbed reported symptoms that lasted an average of 4.4 days, compared to 8.3 days for those who had received two vaccinations.  That was about half the time of symptoms from the common cold, which lingers for seven to ten days.  For those with a booster, Omicron infection was 3.3 days shorter than a Delta infection, which lasts for 7.7 with a third dose or 9.6 days for the doubled-jabbed.  A new study has found a Covid booster shot makes omicron symptoms last half as long compared to two vaccine doses (stock image) The findings indicated both that the Covid virus was evolving to be less virulent over time, and also that getting a booster drastically reduces the symptomatic period. 'Every...
    ABC health commentator Dr Norman Swan has told how a failed acting career led to him becoming the face of the network's Covid coverage. The Walkley Award-winning Scottish-born podcaster, 69, has become a mainstay with the public broadcaster over the past four decades and one of Australia's most polarising figures during the pandemic. A regular across ABC's news and current affairs programs, Dr Swan has courted controversy as he repeatedly called for tough restrictions to combat the virus.   Dr Swan - whose son Jonathan is also an award-winning journalist known for grilling ex-US President Donald Trump - moved to Australia in his 20s, where he worked as a pediatric doctor before joining the ABC in 1982. He originally dreamed of becoming an actor before an ill-fated audition at the UK's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. '[It was] embarrassing and amateurish because I forgot my lines,' he told ABC Backstory.  ABC health commentator Dr Norman Swan with his daughter Georgia. The Scottish-born podcaster, 69, has repeatedly called for tough lockdown measures during the Covid pandemic  The veteran commentator said he was...
    (CNN)China is grappling to get a surge in Covid-19 cases under control, after the BA.2 variant caused the country's worst infection rates since the virus was first discovered in Wuhan more than two years ago.The cause of the rapid rise is the Omicron variant -- and its more contagious sub-variant, BA.2, which has already become dominant in the US, Europe and many parts of the world.But China's response is very different to almost everywhere else; the nation is sticking with its "zero Covid" policy, even as most others adjust to living with the reality of Covid-19.On Sunday, the ruling Communist Party announced the deployment of thousands of military personnel to the locked-down city of Shanghai to assist in the mandatory screening of all 25 million inhabitants. China's health authorities have repeatedly warned about the potential for health care systems to be overwhelmed if the virus spreads widely in the population of 1.4 billion -- especially given the low vaccination rate among the elderly -- as they put in place their radical attempts to stamp down infections.Read MoreMeanwhile, in the US...
    BELIEVE it or not, there is still a huge chunk of people who claim to never have had Covid. You likely know at least one person who has dodged the virus despite having plenty of opportunity to be infected. 1Some people have dodged Covid even though they've been exposed to itCredit: Alamy Or perhaps you are part of the no-Covid club yourself. This club is around 30 million strong, according to modelling from Cambridge University in February. They said around half of the UK’s adults are still yet to have the bug for the first time, MailOnline reported. Many of us will be familiar with this scenario during the pandemic; one member of the family starts to experience the telltale signs of coronavirus, gets tested, and returns a positive result. Others in the same home get struck down. But there is one lucky soul who manages to avoid catching it entirely. But why does this happen? Experts, including Richard Stanton, professor of virology at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University, gave some explanations. 1. Genetics Immunity differs from one...