Omicron now the dominant U.S. Covid pressure at 73% of circumstances

People wait in long lines in Times Square to be tested for Covid-19 in New York City on December 20, 2021.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The fast-spreading Omicron variant is now the dominant strain of Covid in the US and accounts for 73% of the sequenced cases, according to data Data released Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Omicron has ousted the previously dominant Delta variant, which, according to the CDC, now accounts for an estimated 26.6% of the sequenced cases in the week ending December 18. Just a week earlier, Delta made up 87% of cases, down from Omicron’s 12.6%, the data shows.

The CDC had previously released data for the week ending December 11th showing that Omicron 2.9% of the cases, however, has revised the estimate upwards for this period.

The omicron Covid-19 variant was first discovered in southern Africa at the end of November and as a. designated “Variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on November 26th by the World Health Organization on November 15th.

Although the variant has proven to be extremely transmissible, much is still unknown about the severity of the disease it causes.

In some parts of the country, the proportion of Omicron cases is above the nationwide value of 73%. The CDC estimates that it accounts for more than 90% of cases in parts of the Northwest, South, Southeast, and Northeast.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said New York City is seeing a rapid surge in Omicron infections, although it expects the wave to peak in a few weeks.

The average daily number of cases in New York City more than doubled for the week ending Friday, December 17, according to the latest data available on the City Health Department website. New York reports a seven-day average of more than 7,200 cases per day, up from about 3,200 the week before, a 127% increase.

De Blasio said people infected with Omicron in New York have had mild symptoms so far, although he noted that many questions remain unanswered and scientists are still doing research to determine how sick people get after contracting the variant be able. Even if Omicron proves to be milder than Delta, it could still weigh on healthcare systems and, due to its rapid spread, potentially lead to spikes in hospital admissions and deaths, infectious disease experts warned.

The US reports a seven-day average of about 130,000 daily cases as of December 19, up 7% over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A CNBC analysis of the Hopkins data shows that the northeast region has the highest average daily cases when adjusted for population. Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and New York are the three states with the country’s average daily new cases per capita.

About 69,000 Americans are being hospitalized with Covid-19, according to a seven-day average of Thursday’s U.S. Department of Health data, a two-week increase of 14%. While that’s rising, it’s still lower than the peak of the Delta Wave, when more than 100,000 patients were hospitalized in early September.

CNBCs Spencer Kimball Reporting contributed.

BioNTech CEO assured shot works in opposition to India pressure

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told CNBC on Thursday he was “confident” that the company is using the Covid-19 vaccine US partner Pfizer is effective against a variant of coronavirus that was first identified in India.

The trunk, known as B.1.617, contains two key mutations which were found separately in other coronavirus variants. The variant, also known as “double mutant”, was first discovered in Indiawhere it is viewed by some as the cause of a recent surge in new Covid-19 cases.

The variant has since been identified in other countries, including the United States.

Sahin said the German drug maker had tested its two-dose vaccine, currently not available in India, against similar “double mutants”. Based on that data, Sahin said he feels confident the shot will still be protective.

“We evaluate [the strain] … and the data will be available in the coming weeks, “he told CNBC.

“However, we had similar double mutants in our previous tests and are confident from the data we had in the past that we could see a similar way of neutralizing this virus. But we will only know when we have the data. ” in our hands, “he added.

In recent months, US health officials have said they fear that new, highly contagious variants of the virus may one day be able to evade the protection of currently approved vaccines. They urge Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible before new and potentially more dangerous variants emerge.

Studies have shown that the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine still protects against other strains. including B.1.526, the variant first identified in New Yorkand B.1.1.7, the variant found in Great Britain

An Israeli study found that B.1.351, the variant discovered in South Africa, was able to bypass part of the protection of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, although the shot remained highly effective.

Although the shot continues to be effective, Sahin said people will likely need a third shot of his two-dose Covid-19 vaccine as immunity to the virus wears off. Consent to previous comments prepared by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and BioNTech Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ozlem Tureci.

In February, Pfizer and BioNTech said They tested a third Dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response to new variants of the virus.

Sahin said Thursday that researchers are seeing a decrease in antibody responses to the virus after eight months.

“If we give a boost, we could actually increase the antibody response beyond what we had at the beginning, and that could give us a real comfort of protection for at least 12 months, maybe 18 months,” he said.

Prince William apprehensive about pressure on UK emergency staff | Leisure

In this image provided by Kensington Palace, on January 13, 2021, there is a video call with Prince William of England and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at the bottom of the screen and in the top row from left Carly Kennard and Jules Lockett, both from London, seen Ambulance Service, Conal Devitt of the Formby Primary Care Network, and Manal Sadik, assistant director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Expanding Attendance at Guys and St. Thomas Hospital. Middle row from left, Phil Spencer of the Cleveland Police Department, Tony Collins, Just ‘B’ Volunteer Helpline Answering Machine and CEO of North Yorkshire Hospice Care, and Caroline Francis, Just ‘B’ Helpline Support Person and Nurse at North Yorkshire Hospice Care. The royal couple spoke to frontline workers and counselors about the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on the mental health of frontline workers and why it is important for them to seek assistance at such a critical time can.


From DANICA KIRKA Associated Press

LONDON (AP) – Prince William is concerned about the mental health of UK ambulance drivers, police officers and other first responders who have suffered exceptional trauma and death in the wake of the coronavirus cases.

William, a former search and rescue helicopter pilot, told rescue workers on a video call not to be afraid to ask for help, even though they are inclined to help others first.

“I’m afraid … you’re all so busy looking after everyone else that you don’t take enough time to look after yourself and we won’t see the effects for some time,” said William, who second in line British Throne, said on a tape released late Friday.

The UK healthcare system is staggering as a more contagious variant of the coronavirus coupled with cold, wet winter weather puts hospitals and rescue workers under unprecedented pressure.

The London Ambulance Service says they receive around 8,000 emergency calls a day, compared to 5,500 on a typical busy day. However, the strain can be felt in all emergency services. Hundreds of firefighters, for example, have volunteered to drive ambulances in order to ease pressure on the distressed services.

The surge in infections across the UK has pushed the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 to a record 37,282, more than 70% more than during the first peak of the pandemic in April. The UK has reported 87,448 coronavirus-related deaths, more than any other country in Europe and the fifth highest number in the world.