Dr. Fauci Says Here's When New Surge May Happen
Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that a new spike in COVID-19 cases should be expected, thanks to the current rise in cases across the UK and Europe due to the Omicron BA.2 subvariant. "We can't just say we're done, now we're going to move on. We've got to be able to be flexible because we're dealing with a dynamic situation," Dr. Fauci tells CNN's Jake Tapper. Here's how Dr. Fauci believes the BA.2 variant will impact the US. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
An Uptick In the UK Means An Uptick In the US
"We generally follow what goes on in the UK by about two to three weeks. So we better play close attention to what's going on there. They are correct. It has a transmission advantage over the original Omicron, which is called BA.1. And what they're seeing is an uptick in cases that are related both to the increased transmissibility of the virus, the waning of immunity, but also the fact that they're opening up the way we are here, and the way other countries in Europe and other parts of the world, and pulling back on mask mandates and things like that."
BA.2 Is Highly Transmissible But Not More Severe
"They're [the UK and Europe] seeing enough tipping in cases, I've spoken to them multiple times over the last week or so. And what they are seeing now is not an increase in severity of disease: For example, their ICU bed usage, their intensive care unit, bed usage is not up and the overall mortality is actually down."
We Might Have To Reinpose Pandemic Restrictions
"If in fact we do see a turnaround and a resurgence, we have to be able to pivot and go back to any degree of mitigation that is commensurate with what the situation is. So we can't just say, we're done now, we're gonna move on. We've got to be flexible because we're dealing with a dynamic situation. Hopefully the cases will continue to come down. As the weather gets warmer, the risk of being indoors is less and we'll do well, at least for the coming several months."
Here's How To Fight Waning Immunity
"The one thing that's important, that's a wildcard in this, is that there is waning immunity and we have to make sure that those people who've been vaccinated get boosted—only about 50% of the people who are eligible to be vaccinated have gotten their boost. And we still have only 65% of the total population fully vaccinated."
"If we want to be able to have a buffer against the possibility of there being a resurgence, there are things that we can do right now about that. If you look at the percentage of people per hundred thousand who are hospitalized and or die and compare the unvaccinated with the vaccinated, with the vaccine boosted, the line splits dramatically… but they're striking in the difference between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. There's no doubt about that."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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