There are new COVID variants and the spread of bird flu

USA TODAY

John Yang: Four years after the start of the pandemic, hospitalizations for COVID are at an all time low, but there are new variants.
Katelyn Jetelina writes the popular newsletter, Your Local Epidemiologist, and she was just named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in health.
Katelyn Jetelina, Author, “Your Local Epidemiologist”: Yeah, you know, what’s clear is that this is continuing to spread among cows and other animals, but the risk to the general public is very low.
I think that alarm bells for the general public should really start going off if we start seeing human to human spread.
Katelyn Jetelina: It is scary, and it does sound scary.
Katelyn Jetelina: Yeah.
Katelyn Jetelina: Yeah, I mean, measles is coming in hot this year.
Katelyn Jetelina: It’s incredibly concerning because it feels like we are kind of going back to our pre pandemic times.

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John Yang.

Hospital admissions for COVID are at an all-time low four years after the pandemic began, but new strains are emerging. Bird flu is currently making news. In nine states, at least thirty-six dairy herds have tested positive for it. However, there has only been one confirmed human case so far this year.

The general public is not at all at risk, but it is evident that cows and other animals are still being affected by this, says Katelyn Jetelina, author of “Your Local Epidemiologist.”. This basically means that the only things we can do are avoid touching dead animals or birds, avoid drinking raw milk, and perhaps even contact your congressman to request stronger support for biosecurity.

However, this is unquestionably not January 2020 or even March of 2020. Of course, things can change, and they usually do so very quickly in the case of outbreaks. Concerns about human-to-human transmission ought to raise serious concerns for the wider public, in my opinion.

In order to prevent another pandemic and to protect the small number of Americans who are currently more vulnerable—dairy and poultry workers—public health officials are really calling for all hands on deck right now.

Katelyn Jetelina:.

Both it and its sound are frightening. When I realized, however, that pasteurization has been proven effective for more than a century, I became more composed. Additionally, the FDA conducted experiments to grow an active virus from these pasteurized milk samples from grocery stores in order to confirm that the pasteurization process was effective. Fortunately, the experiments were unsuccessful, indicating that the viral fragments were broken pieces that were unable to replicate and could not harm humans.

Other milk products, such as cottage cheese and sour cream, have also been tested since the milk was the subject of those studies. And it’s said that beef found in supermarkets is likewise safe to eat. Simply said, I believe that drinking unpasteurized milk is not a good idea. It can make you very ill, particularly right now.

Jetelina Katelyn:.

Indeed. Accordingly, we are aware that COVID is still evolving. Yes, you are. Viruses only act in this way. Omicron is the most recent and superior version, albeit with very minor modifications. Accurate. The spike protein in flirt variants only possesses two extra mutations. We can compare this to roughly fifty changes that occurred during the massive Omicron wave in 2021.

Therefore, we know that this won’t result in a massive infection wave with just two minor adjustments. Simply put, it differs from earlier ones not enough. Whether it will produce a wave, a wavelet, or nothing at all is the question. But alas, only time will tell.

Jetelina Katelyn:.

Yes, measles cases are on the rise this year. Also, even as the U. S. admits only 132 cases in 21 states, which is still more than twice as many as we had the previous year. The main issue here, in my opinion, is that we are increasing the chance of measles outbreaks. Yes, you are. Due to a decline in vaccination rates, there are more embers.

The issue and challenge with this is that it merely raises the likelihood that a spark will find a sizable unvaccinated pocket and spread like wildfire. Therefore, at this time, we truly want to minimize these embers.

Jetelina Katelyn:.

The feeling that we are regressing to pre-pandemic times makes it extremely worrisome. Hospitalization statistics was crucial for determining where to take action, where to be concerned, and whether or not we should be taking it all in stride right now.

The good news, in my opinion, is that starting on October 1 during non-emergency hours, Health and Human Services is planning to propose a new rule requiring all hospitalizations to report COVID-19 and other viruses.

Furthermore, the public is welcome to comment on it. However, I’m hopeful that this reporting will continue and give us a pretty good national picture of the state of viruses right now.

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