European countries see early signs of a spike in COVID-19 in the fall

Health officials in the UK and the European region as a whole are seeing early signs of a spike in COVID activity, patterns that US experts are watching closely as harbingers of how the coming months will unfold.

Disease modeling experts have warned of an increase in infections in northern hemisphere countries as cold weather brings more people indoors, as schools resume, and as protections from vaccines dwindle.

UK sees spikes in hospitalizations, positive tests

In Britain, Susan Hopkins, MBBCh, Chief Medical Officer of the Health Security Agency, in a statement Yesterday she said COVID-19 rates are still low, but data from the past seven days shows a rise in hospitalizations and a rise in positive tests reported from the community.

“For those who qualify, it’s time to get your fall boost,” she said. “Getting a booster will give your immune system time to build up protection against severe illness from COVID-19 as winter approaches.”

Virologists are closely watching the steady diversification of the Omicron variant. The BA.5 variant is still prevalent, but scientists have identified new substrains that contain mutations that may partially allow them to escape immunity from BA.5-induced immunity.

Thomas Peacock, PhD, a virologist at Imperial College London, based in London, told guardian that BA.2.75.2 and BQ.1.1 still account for less than 0.5% of the UK sequenced sample, but they are growing rapidly. Peacock said the COVID wave in the fall and winter could be driven by a mixture of variables.

in glimpse Of COVID activity in the European region, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said it has observed an increase in transmission over the past two weeks. COVID is becoming more prevalent in some countries, and it particularly affects people 65 years of age or older. Although levels remain low, increased activity is beginning to affect indicators for hospitals and intensive care units, with a limited impact on the mortality rate.

“Changes in population mixing after the summer holidays are likely to be the main driver of these increases, with no indication that they are caused by changes in the distribution of circulating variants,” the CDC said, adding that the epidemiological patterns it sees are consistent with previous forecasts.

American Omicron variants turn out; 4.4 million received a new payment

In the US, Omicron sub-ratios continue to shift, with BA.5 declining again slightly, from 84.6% to 83.1% over the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in its report. Weekly update.

The proportions of two subvariables are increasing, although their numbers are still small. BA.2.75 levels rose from 1.0% to 1.4%, and BF.7 increased from 1.6% to 2.3%.

Nationwide, COVID indicators are still trending downward, the CDC said today in Overview. The 7-day average of new daily cases is 54,186, down 10.6% from the previous week. The weekly average of new hospital admissions for COVID fell 9.9% last week, and weekly deaths were down 12.2%.

Since the first week of September when the new updated booster doses were released, 4.4 million The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

In other US developments, an Inspector General’s investigation into delays and glitches in SARS-CoV-2 testing early in the pandemic found problems in the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process and suggested that the FDA make changes to improve preparedness. for upcoming public health emergencies.

The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of Health and Human Services (OIG) at the request of members of Congress interested in the availability and efficacy of diagnostic tests and serology.

in Report On September 21, the Office of the Inspector General said problems with the CDC’s initial testing revealed weaknesses in the federal testing approach, with the Food and Drug Administration slow to realize that testing by public health laboratories was more limited than expected.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has used its EUA to ramp up COVID testing, but sometimes at a cost to test quality, with some problematic tests hitting the market, the OIG found. She added that the FDA’s decision to allow all EUA requests from test developers led to many low-quality requests.