The United States is seeing a resurgence of coronavirus infections in various states, with data from the John Hopkins University showing that the seven-day average of new cases spiked by around 5 percent in 27 states as of Sunday.
Overall, the country’s infection rate rose 1 percent compared to the previous week. The increase in infection rates is happening despite the government administering around 2.5 million shots daily.
Many experts attribute the loosening of restrictions, including face mask mandates, to the rise in coronavirus cases. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believes that lifting restrictions is a “serious threat” to the progress made in controlling the pandemic. She warned that the UK variant could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by the end of March. The variant is considered to be around 56 percent more contagious than the earlier strains and possibly even two times deadlier than the current dominant strain in America.
Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, points out that even though the vaccine distribution is happening at a reasonable speed, the spread of variants is troubling news. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and head of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, warns that easing the restrictions is “creating a perfect storm moment for virus transmission.”
Osterholm expects people over the age of 65 to be extremely vulnerable to the UK strain. At present, only 40 percent of Americans in this demographic have been vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor, also remarked that he is concerned about the easing restrictions and relaxation of public health measures.
“So it is unfortunate but not surprising to me that you are seeing increases in a number of cases per day in areas — cities, states, or regions — even though vaccines are being distributed at a pretty good clip of 2 (million) to 3 million per day… That could be overcome if certain areas pull back prematurely on the mitigation and public health measures that we all talk about,” Fauci said in a statement.
More than 30 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, with over 556,000 deaths. The number of total cases per million population is at 92,009 while fatalities per million population stand at 1,673.
As infections rise millions of vaccinations are administered
California leads with over 3.6 million total cases, followed by Texas and Florida at the second and third spots with more than 2 million infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 150 million vaccines had been distributed across the United States, with over 126 million administered.
A recent study has indicated that the number of COVID-19 (CCP Virus) cases could be higher than reported. The research team estimates the total number of infections until Sept. 2020 to be more than the official number by 16 million.
Given that over five months have passed, the unaccounted coronavirus cases will inevitably be higher. The study used insurance data to arrive at these numbers.
“People applying for life insurance tend to be more educated, richer, and probably more risk-averse. So the findings from this study do not generalize to the general population and probably represent a lower bound of true seroprevalence in the general population,” Neeraj Sood, Director of the COVID Initiative at the University of Southern California Schaeffer Center in Los Angeles, told Medscape.