COVID REPORT FOR JANUARY 11TH


The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority quintupled the size of their graph to report the spike in Covid wastewater RNA. The amount of Covid RNA in the wastewater is ten times higher than last winter. 

Other water authorities are reporting similar results across the country. This suggests that the official Covid-19 case rates are massively undercounting actual cases. This was predicted in the modeling we reported several weeks ago.

This is a great thing! It further supports the evidence that most of the under-reported cases are asymptomatic. In reports from South Africa, India, and Europe, the asymptomatic rate for Omicron is over 70%.

TAKE HOME-

Most of those of us who get Omicron will never know we were sick. However, people who get Omicron will develop a strong antibody response to the asymptomatic illness and be protected from Covid in the future. 

TWO

The number of Covid cases in Pennsylvania on January 7th, 2022, was 33,000. The highest daily case number last winter was 13,000. The highest hospitalization number last winter was 6,600. Yesterday, the number of Pennsylvanians hospitalized with Covid was 6,891. Does that number reflect the severity of Covid in our hospitals? Pennsylvania does not track or report the ratio of patients admitted for Covid rather than with incidental Covid. 

However, in New York state, COVID was not included as one of the reasons for admission for 43 percent of hospital patients. In the city of New York, the rate was even higher at 51 percent.

The CDC reported 26,000 U.S. deaths from Covid for the week of Jan. 9, 2021. 

This week they reported 1,360 !!!

TAKE HOME-

Pennsylvania documented case rates are nearly three times higher than last winter; official case rates are probably massively undercounting the real case rate. Hospitalization rates are about the same as last winter. However, it is very likely that half of Pennsylvania patients 'with' COVID were hospitalized for unrelated reasons, such as injuries in a car crash, but tested positive for the virus on routine screening and were reclassified by the state as COVID admissions. Death rates for Pennsylvania and for the nation have fallen dramatically and have stayed low throughout the omicron wave.

THREE

Omicron could be even less deadly than the seasonal flu.

Analysis shows Covid killed one in 33 people who tested positive at the peak of the devastating second wave last December and January, compared to just one in 670 in the last four weeks. That figure could drop even lower because of Omicron. 

The case fatality rate — the proportion of confirmed infections that end in death — for seasonal influenza is 0.1, the equivalent of one in 1,000 people.

Researchers at Washington University modeling this stage of the pandemic predict that Omicron kills 99 percent fewer people than Delta.

TAKE HOME- 

If Omicron is 99 percent less lethal than Delta, it suggests the current case fatality rate in the range of 0.07 per cent, meaning approximately one in 1,430 people will die after contracting Omicron Covid-19.  

FOUR

Catching some common colds could protect against Covid.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, experts have speculated that other coronaviruses — which tend to cause runny noses and sore throats — could offer some cross-reactive immunity with Covid. 

 London scientists studied people who lived with someone who had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. Half caught the virus, while the others managed to ward it off.

They took blood samples from the volunteers within days of being exposed to Covid. 

Household contacts who did not test positive had 'significantly higher levels' of pre-existing coronavirus-fighting T cells.

These T cells targeted internal proteins within the Covid virus rather than the spike protein to protect against infection. 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital performed a series of tests on all of their employees and also identified a subset of employees with pre-existing antibody levels against Covid-19 which pre-dated the pandemic. 

TAKE HOME-

Some people, perhaps millions of Americans, have a degree of protection against Covid-19 from previous cold-type coronavirus infections. 


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