Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States, fueling fourth wave fears as officials urge Americans to follow up on public health measures.
On Sunday, the US recorded 46,378 new infections with a 7-day moving average of 70,196, the highest since February 26.
In the last week alone, the average number of cases has increased nearly 11 percent, and the total is increasing in 22 states, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Although the number is well below the high of an average of 247,000 new cases in January, it is in line with the increase seen in late July when the daily cases averaged 68,000.
Meanwhile, only 283 coronavirus deaths were reported on Sunday. This is the second lowest number reported this month.
However, the seven-day moving average passed 1,000 for the first time in nearly two weeks.
Even if vaccinations continue to rise across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Americans may need booster vaccinations to maintain immunity after about a year.
On Sunday, the US recorded 46,378 new coronavirus infections with a 7-day moving average of 70,196, the highest since February 26
Although only 283 coronavirus deaths were reported on Sunday, the seven-day moving average was above 1,000 for the first time in nearly two weeks
Over the past week, the average number of cases has increased nearly 11%, and 22 states are reporting rising case numbers, according to an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on MSNBC Sunday (pictured) that after a year, Americans may need to get coronavirus vaccine boosters to “maintain levels of protection.”
During an appearance on MSNBC on Sunday, Fauci was asked for data from Pfizer Inc showing that his coronavirus vaccine was effective for at least six months.
“We have to be careful with that six-month number,” said Fauci, adding that this period was the most distant that scientists could measure.
“We know for sure that it will be effective for six months and most likely will be effective for much longer.”
He said the researchers will continue to screen people, measure their antibody levels, and screen any fully vaccinated person who has contracted COVID-19 over the coming months.
“So the good news is that it’s at least six months. Hopefully a lot more, ”said Fauci.
“But in a direct answer to your question, if it turns out to be a year or a year and a half, we may need to take booster shots to keep the level of protection up.”
This is a turnaround from an earlier statement in which the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases said he was confident that the vaccines available would provide adequate protection.
Preliminary data shows that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the US should provide adequate protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants, ”Fauci said in late March.
He added that “out of caution”, NIAID continues to work with Moderna to evaluate a refresher candidate.
Experts worry about the Midwest, where COVID-19 cases and hospital stays have grown exponentially.
In Minnesota, the number of infections has increased from an average of 1,569 per day to 2,348 per day, a 49 percent increase over two weeks, data from Johns Hopkins shows.
In nearby Illinois, coronavirus cases have similarly increased 48 percent in the past 14 days, from 2,412 per day to 3,578 per day.
Perhaps the state that worries scientists the most is Michigan.
During the month, the average number of cases in Michigan rose from about 2,000 a day to more than 6,000 a day, and hospital admissions rose 400%
In Minnesota, the number of coronavirus infections has increased from an average of 1,569 per day to 2,348 per day, an increase of 49% over two weeks.
In Illinois, coronavirus cases have increased 48% in the past 14 days, from 2,412 per day to 3,578 per day
In just one month, cases have exploded from an average of around 2,000 a day to more than 6,000 a day
State data shows 3,780 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized as of April. In Michigan, that was an increase of more than 400 percent in just one month.
The increase appears to be due to coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, first identified in the UK, which accounts for around 70 percent of new cases in the state.
“Michigan really is what sets off what it looks like when variant B.1.1.7 … spreads in the US,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist, told CNN on Sunday.
“It causes a surge and more severe illness in some cases, which means that even younger people, people in their thirties, forties and fifties, get very sick and are hospitalized as a result.”
Gounder said the other factor behind the surge was the lack of public health measures, such as not wearing masks before vaccinating a large percentage of residents.
“The hard truth is that the only thing that is going to hold back the transmission right now is action that will take effect immediately,” she said.
Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb criticized the Biden administration for refusing to send a surge in vaccine doses to Michigan.
“It’s a request that has been made for weeks, and I think we should have done it weeks ago,” he said on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday.
‘It’s never too late to do it. And it’s not just an extra vaccine, it’s the resources to actually get your hands on the vaccine. ‘
World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday that the pandemic is far from over and urged complacency. Pictured: Tedros attends a press conference in July 2020
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that confusion and complacency in fighting COVID-19 mean the pandemic is far from over.
However, he said that best public health policies could bring the crisis under control in months
“We too want societies and economies to reopen and travel and trade to be resumed,” Tedros said at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
“But at the moment the intensive care units in many countries are overcrowded and people are dying – and that is completely avoidable. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, but we have many reasons to be optimistic. ‘
He noted that the decline in cases and deaths after the 2020-21 winter surge is evidence that both the virus and the variants can be stopped.
During the press conference, Maria van Kerkove, WHO technical director on COVID-19, said there had been a nine percent increase in cases worldwide last week, and a five percent increase and five percent increase in deaths for the seventh straight week.
Tedros said the virus’ transmission is being driven by “confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health policies”.
He added that in some countries, despite continued prevalence, restaurants and nightclubs were full and the markets were open and crowded and few people took precautionary measures.
“Some people seem to take the approach that it doesn’t matter if they get COVID-19 when they’re relatively young,” Tedros said.