(United States – CNN) – “Forget the waves of Covid-19”, one expert says, “there’s a tsunami coming” for unvaccinated Americans as the Delta variant continues to fuel new cases and hospitalizations. Likewise, the Omicron variant spreads rapidly and could soon swamp hospital systems.
“This Omicron variant is extraordinarily contagious. It’s as contagious as measles, and that’s about the most contagious virus that we’ve seen,” CNN medical analyst Jonathan Reiner told CNN’s Pamela Brown Saturday.
Jonathan Reiner is a medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He’s warned that “a tsunami is coming” for Americans not vaccinated against covid-19, as cases and hospitalizations for the Delta variant are on the rise, while Omicron is spreading rapidly, which could overwhelm hospitals. “This omicron variant is extraordinarily contagious. It’s as contagious as measles, and that’s the most contagious virus we’ve seen,” he told CNN.”
Cases of Omicron are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in the countries where community transmissions are documented, the World Health Organization said Saturday.
And in the US, Omicron is expected to become the “dominant strain” in the coming weeks, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday.
ACCORDING TO JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, the US was averaging 126,967 new cases of Covid-19 per day as of Saturday, and fourteen states saw an uptick of at least 10% in cases over the past week compared to the previous week, the data shows.
Scientists say it’s still too early to tell whether Omicron causes a milder form of Covid-19 disease, but regardless, it will put pressure on the health care system.
According to CDC data, 61.4% of the total US population is fully vaccinated, and 29.1% have received a booster.
More than 69,000 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 across the US, and more than 20% of all ICU beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
New York tops the record for daily new cases.
On Saturday, New York State broke its record for the highest single-day Covid-19 case count since the beginning of the pandemic for a second consecutive day, with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office reporting 21,908 positive Covid-19 cases, up from 21,027 on Friday.
Covid-19 hospitalizations across the state remained relatively low at 3,909, compared to a peak of 18,825 Covid-19 related hospitalizations on April 13, 2020, according to available data.
“This is not like the beginning of the pandemic,” Hochul said in a statement Saturday. “We are prepared for the winter surge because we have the tools at our disposal.”
In New York City, positive Covid-19 cases more than doubled from the beginning of the week on December 13 to Saturday. However, Covid-19 hospitalizations remained around the same throughout the week, with a slight spike in hospitalizations reported Saturday, according to data released by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
“We’re definitely going to get a tsunami of cases,” Director of Global Health and Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Dr. Craig Spencer told CNN Saturday. “We know that today we had record level cases here in New York City that only eclipses yesterday’s record level of cases. We know that a lot of people are going to test positive.” (SIC)
Already hospitals throughout the USA feel the impact with grappling and concerning coronavirus data.
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