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COVID-19: Weekly Update (August 8, 2022)


The 7-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases in the US shows signs of decline. However, the highly infectious Omicron variant BA.5 is now predominant in the country, accounting for more than 80% of cases.

As of August 3, the 7-day moving average of daily new cases was 117,351. It decreased 7.3% compared with the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid Data Tracker Weekly Review, released on Friday.

The CDC data shows that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 is predominant in the US and accounts for 85.5% of total cases. The subvariant BA.4 represents 7.7% of cases.

According to the Yale School of Medicine experts, the Omicron subvariants are very efficient spreaders of the disease. In addition, the BA.5 and BA.4 variants appear to be better than other subvariants at evading protection provided by vaccines and previous infection. However, the vaccines still offer important protection against developing severe symptoms and death.

The CDC data shows that as of August 4, 2022, 41.7% of counties, districts, or territories have a high COVID-19 community level. Meanwhile, 38.9% counties have medium community level, and 19.4% counties with a low community level.

Biden tested negative for COVID-19

On Sunday, President Joe Biden was tested negative for COVID-19 for a second consecutive day after rebound following the Paxlovid treatment. His physician Kevin O'Connor, OD, said that the president would safely return to public engagement and presidential travel.

A rebound is a side symptom of this new drug, which the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorized in July. On rare occasions, the COVID-19 symptoms can return four or five days after completing the full course of Paxlovid, or a person, who previously tested negative for COVID-19, will have a positive test result again.

The president first tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21. Six days later, he tested negative; however, his test came back positive again on July 30.

Half of the eligible received a booster dose

The CDC data shows that 78.8% of the total US population have received at least one dose of vaccine. About 67% of the total population were fully vaccinated, and almost half of them received a booster dose. However, only one-third of 50 years or older people received a second booster dose.

One in eight develops long COVID-19

A new study led by the University of Groningen, published in the peer-reviewed journal Lancet, found that one in eight COVID-19 patients develops long COVID-19 symptoms.

Among those symptoms are chest pain, difficulties with breathing, pain when breathing, painful muscles, loss of taste or smell, tingling extremities, lump in the throat, feeling hot and cold alternately, heavy arms or legs, and general tiredness.

Resources:

1. CDC. Covid Data Tracker Weekly Review.

2. CDC. Variant Proportions.

3. Yale School of Medicine. Omicron, Delta, Alpha, and More: What To Know About the Coronavirus Variants.

4. The White House. Letter from Dr. Kevin O’Connor: President Biden SARS-CoV-2 Update.

5. The Lancet. Persistence of somatic symptoms after COVID-19 in the Netherlands: an observational cohort study.

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