The mortality toll from the COVID-19 epidemic has already topped 900,000 people in the United States. While mortality are on the rise in many parts of the country, there is also some good news.

COVID has a new look. Since mid-January, new cases have dropped by over half a million nationwide, with 19 cases declining in 49 of 50 states.

While some experts believe the worst of the pandemic has gone, others believe the reprieve will be short-lived, with mortality continuing to rise in at least 35 states, indicating a time lag between when people become infected and when they die from the virus.

Melissa Nolan, an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, told USA TODAY, “We are guaranteed to see another variation surge.” “While current vaccines and boosters were effective against omicron, they are unlikely to be effective against future variations.”

Vaccinations, which have been proved to effectively prevent serious illness, hospitalisation, and death, are still being stressed by public health experts.

Dr. Matthew Heinz, an internist in Tucson, Arizona, is “terrified” that lackadaisical immunisation efforts are setting the globe up for a variety that is highly transmissible but has a higher fatality rate than omicron.

Also Read: Vincent Zhou, a figure skater from the United States, tests positive for COVID-19 at the Winter Olympics.

“The staggering figure should be enough to persuade everyone to get the shots. And persuading hesitant family members to do the same “Heinz explained.

COVID deaths in the United States approach 900,000; 'Stealth omicron' is somewhat more infectious

As it expands to around 50 countries, including the United States, the subvariant of omicron known as “stealth omicron” – technically BA.2 – has been garnering attention.

The mere possibility that it could be more contagious than the original omicron variety – BA.1 – is enough to stir alarm, given how much havoc the first version wreaked by supplanting delta as the main coronavirus strain.

In a news briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agreed that BA.2 has a slightly higher infectiousness, but that it is only linked to 1.5 percent of the country’s cases.

“So far, all we know about BA.2 is that it has a little transmission advantage over BA.1. However, it isn’t quite as good as the transmission advantage between omicron and delta,” Walensky added. “We haven’t seen any research that show it’s more severe, nor have we seen any studies that say it’ll dodge our vaccines any more than omicron has, or that our vaccines would operate the same way they did with omicron.”

According to public health specialists, the subvariant may impede but not stop the present decline in infections across the country. With the exception of Denmark, where BA.2 has grown popular, this is often what has happened in other nations.

“Which is why we’re now keeping those in place, among the reasons,” Walensky added, pointing out that this has corresponded with the easing of mitigating measures.

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