Under-count is Attributed to BA.5 Surge in the US

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data current upsurge in the incidence of BA.5 in the US is attributed to the the subvariant carries key mutations that can escape the antibodies generated by Covid-19 vaccines and prior infections, writes the CNN Health.

Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, told CNN “With that will come escalating numbers of cases and more hospitalizations. One good thing is it doesn’t appear to be accompanied by the ICU admissions and the deaths as previous variants, but this is definitely concerning.”

“Covid-19 cases have been undercounted to some degree throughout the pandemic for reasons including a lack of available tests at some points and asymptomatic cases that may have been missed. But as people increasingly rely on rapid at-home tests — and as attitudes toward the pandemic shift overall — the US hasn’t landed on a reliable way to track transmission levels,” writes the CNN Health.

Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief science officer at telehealth company eMed, told CNN “Now that BA.5 is here, we know that there is going to be a wave in the fall — there’s almost no doubt about that — if not before. So you just have to be really cognitive that that is what might happen.”

Quoting Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, CNN writes “We really don’t have a good sense of what the baseline is. To say ‘here’s where we are, at this time in 2022, compared to 2021’ — that’s not a fair comparison.”

According to Dr. Plescia, the US is in a “sustained management phase, with continued efforts to keep things under control compared with what was much more of a reactive, emergent — and emerging — approach of the past”.

Dr Mina reportedly predicted that “We kind of just floated through this major outbreak. But we should not let our guard down, I would say, because with BA.5, I expect it will be a very different story.”