The Omicron coronavirus variant is spreading rapidly across Florida and the country.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday, Wednesday, that nationwide, the average daily number of cases has risen to more than 277,000. This is higher than the peak of 160,000 in the summer Delta surge and surpasses the record of 250,000 last winter.
- Los Angeles County reported Wednesday 16,510 coronavirus cases. This is one of the highest single-day numbers of the pandemic. Public health officials have reported that the test positivity rate increased more than twice in the past week from 8.7% to 17.6%.
- California has seen an average of 20,467 new cases per day over the past week, according to the Times’ coronavirus tracker. This is higher than any time during the summer Delta surge.
Dr. Rochelle Walsky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the rapid rise in cases across the country was due to the extremely transmissible Omicron variant.
Spread across one household
According to the CDC, most coronavirus transmission happens early in the illness. It occurs usually one to two days prior to the onset of symptoms. It can also occur two to three days later.
Omicron is at greater risk of being reinfected by the coronavirus. This is also becoming more evident. Past infection, even if it was not vaccinated or masking, does not guarantee another COVID-19-related illness.
The CDC published a report recently revealing that a cluster of Omicron cases was the result of a 48-year-old unvaccinated man from Nebraska who became infected with coronavirus last year. He also contracted COVID-19 the day before Thanksgiving. Four days later, the illness struck after the man, who was attending an international conference in Nigeria, had an encounter with an unmasked person coughing while wearing a mask.
Before flying home, the Nebraska man tested negative for coronavirus. When he returned to Nebraska on Nov. 23, he was asymptomatic and had close contact with his family members. On Nov. 24, he began to feel the symptoms and, two days later on Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, he was tested positive for coronavirus.
Between Nov. 24 – Nov. 26, everyone in the household became ill.
The household consisted of six people, ranging in age from 11-48. One man and four other members had coronavirus infections. Their symptoms were milder or similar to their first infection. Only one household member was vaccinated.
The five household members who were infected with the virus never lost their senses of taste and smell. Only two of them had a fever. However, the majority of the five experienced a loss of taste and smell and fever during their first infection.
Unvaccinated, the sixth member of the family, who had never had a coronavirus infection before, suffered from the most severe symptoms: cough, joint pains, congestion, fever, chills, and swelling. None of the six required hospitalizations.
Jan. 2, 2022
According to the report, Omicron may have a shorter incubation time — the period between the onset of symptoms and exposure — than other viruses. This could be because Omicron is more likely to have milder symptoms in those who have been vaccinated and/or previously infected. The median incubation time for coronavirus was previously five to seven days. This report indicates that it is now three days.
According to the report, it is not clear if milder symptoms of Omicron infection are due to existing immunity or something else.
Officials are not recommending more lockdowns. They believe that people who have been vaccinated or boosted have strong protection against major illnesses.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the White House’s top physician advisor and advised against large gatherings during New Year’s Eve in an effort to slow down the spread of the disease.
He said, “If you are planning to attend a 40-50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells, whistles, and everyone hugging, kissing, and wishing each other a happy new year, I strongly recommend that we not do that.” We believe you should keep going with your plans to have a home-related, vaccinated, boosted gathering with close friends and family who are also vaccinated.
Robert Kim-Farley is a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health medical epidemiologist and infectious disease expert. He also cautioned against crowding indoor New Year’s Eve parties, especially where people may be singing or dancing close to one another.
He suggested that watching fireworks outside is safer, but that people still use masks when they are in crowds.
Kim-Farley recommended that people reconsider vacations such as a trip to Hawaii for a getaway. Kim-Farley stated that transmission is not likely during the flight, but there are risks in other areas of travel.
If you were on an important trip, you can go. He said that if you have something not essential, it may be wise to hold off for a few months. “We will see this peak and it will go down again.”
Fauci says preliminary data continue to indicate that Omicron’s coronavirus variant causes less severe disease than its Delta counterpart.
Fauci stated Wednesday morning that cases from South Africa and the U.K showed a lower risk of hospitalizations during a briefing at the White House. Recent reports from Scotland show that Omicron’s risk of hospitalization was 66% lower than in previous waves.
South Africa reported that patients who end up in hospital stayed for an average of four days compared to 8.8 days during the Delta wave.
Fauci stated that data from the U.S. suggests that the spike in cases is not proportional to the rise in hospitalizations. The 14-day average has shown a 126% rise in cases and an 11% increase in hospitalizations as of Tuesday night.
Although the state’s COVID-19 population is still far below last winter’s highs, Florida hospitalizations continue to rise. On Tuesday, nearly 33% more coronavirus-positive patients were admitted to Florida than a week ago.
This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm. The Wellness Firm provides onsite Flu Shots, onsite rapid COVID event testing, employee physical examination, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. We have professionals that provide in-person hands-on, quality training.