With corona virus cases falling nationwide and vaccinations a total of 1.7 million Americans a day and increasing, health professionals are increasingly attacking a new tone in their epidemics: optimism.
“I could be wrong, but I don’t think we’re going to see a big fourth uprising,” said Dr. Paul Aphid, a vaccine specialist at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. “I think we saw it very badly.”
Many epidemiologists and other scientists, while still cautious, say they are increasingly optimistic that the rest of 2021 will not revive last year’s dream.
The arrival of spring may help Corona virus cases continue to decline, Warmer weather allows people to spend more time outside, creating a less hostile environment for the virus, experts say.
But the biggest factor, paradoxically, was what the nation tried to prevent last year.
Although 12% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, more people – about 35% of the country’s population – are already infected with the corona virus, the aphid estimates. Studies have shown that COVID-19 survivors have several months of immunity, although this can still last a long time.
U.C. San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford said that one reason for the rapid decline in cases in California was “naturally acquired immunity, mostly in southern California.” He estimated that 50% of Los Angeles County residents were infected with the virus at some point.
“We’re really starting to talk and look like herd immunity – although that real herd immunity is a way into the future,” Rutherford said recently.
When a virus has enough immunity to find new hosts, the herd becomes immune and stops spreading, resulting in protection throughout the community. With regard to the corona virus, scientists believe that the threshold may be as high as 90%. The United States has not met this threshold, but experts say every step towards it reduces trade.
The effects can be huge in areas that have withstood the worst COVID-19 uprisings, including Los Angeles. After a devastating autumn and winter wave that killed more than 12,000 people, 33% to 55% of county residents are already infected with the corona virus, according to U.S.C. researchers.
Past infections have blunted the spread of the corona virus, which has changed the current path of outbreaks in LA County, where new daily cases have been declining for five weeks, said Dr. Roger Lewis, COVID-19 Hospital Demand Modeling Director. To the LA County Health Services Department.
“If you have the same behavior and type of virus that we have now, but we were at the beginning of the epidemic, no one has immunity yet … we continue to rise,” he said. “The fact is that cases are declining now because one-third of everyone in Los Angeles County is immune to COVID.”
But experts warn that the war has not yet been won.
Newer corona virus types may undermine these predictions Demonstrates high resistance to existing vaccines Or by finding an easy way to spread it. Behavioral changes may bring this good news because experts say it will only happen if people stick to the precautionary measures they have taken so far.
“I don’t want to make a false assertion here,” said Dr. Paul Simon, LA County Chief Scientific Officer, who pointed out that 60% of Angelenos would still be vulnerable even if more than a third of them were affected. Corona virus. “If they are not vaccinated, they will continue to be infected. I think we need to be constantly vigilant. ”
Nationwide, the number of corona virus cases has dropped dramatically since late October, according to federal officials. In California, about 7,000 people are tested positive for the corona virus every day, compared with 45,000 at the peak of the state’s winter outbreak.
In LA County, authorities currently estimate the R value – a measure of how many people are infected with the virus – to be 0.8. Anything below 1 means that it is shrinking and anything above 1 means it is growing.
Lewis said the R value would be more than a third, or more than 1, if many people in the county did not already have immunity. Even that small increase can cause a virus to spread rapidly.
“The fact that the virus has only two-thirds of the jump is as slow as it was in the beginning,” Lewis said.
Since the onset of the infection, nearly 30 million Americans have been tested positive for the corona virus, but the actual number of people infected with the virus may be three to four times higher due to low-level testing and many of those infected will not develop symptoms, experts say.
A large number of infections have come at a high cost. The country’s death toll is approaching 500,000, the largest in any country in the world, and many more have survived, but continue to experience the long-term effects of their diseases, some of them severe. Experts say that allowing COVID-19 to reach herd immunity quickly could lead to more deaths and chronic health problems, as some were promoted early in the epidemic.
It is not clear what is the entry of herd immunity with this virus, some scientists estimate that herd immunity can be achieved when 50% of the population is immune, while others believe the threshold is close to 90%, said Simon of LA County. The random geographical distribution of infections is likely to affect some of the county’s pockets more than others, he said.
“We still don’t know what level of vaccination and protection will be needed to get herd immunity across the country,” Simon told the conference on Friday. “When we see a dramatic drop in the number of new cases – I think that’s the best clue that we’re reaching herd immunity, especially if we see it across the country.”
The biggest obstacle to ending the infection is the proliferation of corona virus strains,
Especially if they are highly contagious or susceptible to vaccinations. For example, the B.1.1.7 variant that appeared in the United Kingdom is 50% more contagious than its predecessors, and may trigger an outbreak in areas where large numbers of people are susceptible to the disease.
Dr. Peter Hodes, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said he thinks it would be natural and safe to fly to see friends and family by August. But because of the differences he warned people to “beware of the March Ides.”
“This is the biggest crisis we now face in our COVID-19 epidemics,” he said recently Interview with an American Medical Assistant. “As bad as 2020 is, we are now looking at version 2.0 of this epidemic from variations.”
But others are more optimistic. Afid said he would be concerned if those who already had COVID-19 or were vaccinated were hospitalized with infections caused by the new variant.
“That line has not been crossed,” he said. “You want to get people out of the hospital. To date there seems to be no variant of survival from disease or vaccine-induced immunity.”
At the UCSF Medical Department Govt seminar last week, epidemiologist Dr Monica Gandhi simply said: “Don’t worry about variations.”
Affidavit said he is more optimistic about the country’s route in the summer as more people are vaccinated. “I’m a little worried when you hit September, and then it cools down again, and a variation may appear,” he said, adding that people stop wearing masks and physically avoiding distance, Affid said.
Dr. Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, warned against looking down on case trends and abandoning other safety precautions.
In an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Asn, Valensky said he believed he was the best, but also warned of a worse situation – that people would stop wearing masks and staying too far away physically and that many would announce in advance. The infection was adequate and would not be vaccinated.
“How it goes depends on 330 million people,” Valensky said. “Because when I’m really optimistic about what’s going to happen in March and April, I know it’s going to get worse – very fast. We saw it in November. We saw it in December. We saw what would happen.”
Dr. Annabelle de St. Maurice, a pediatric epidemiologist at UCLA, said he sympathizes with the authorities for trying to walk a good path between maintaining morale and not letting people realize their hope.
Especially in LA, the numbers have improved a lot, but he said, but they are still higher than they were during the deadly summer uprising.
“It’s a reason to celebrate, you want people to celebrate it, but they have to do what they can physically stay away from when wearing the mask,” he said.