Coronavirus Morning News Brief – July 24: Treble of cases in Europe, tests using nasal and throat swabs more accurate, new research finds

The Lower Manhattan Skyline

Hello. This is the report by Jonathan Spira. Now here is the pandemic news from around the world on the 836th day of the pandemic.

If your city or town is at high risk for community transmission of Covid, you are not alone,

The number of US counties meeting the CDC’s high risk threshold for the spread of Covid has increased another 18% over the past week and 102% over the past two. The figure has moreover quadrupled in the past month.

Looking at one of the first major epicentres of the pandemic, all five New York counties are now classified as high risk, as are neighboring counties of Nassau and Suffolk, located east of the Big Apple on Long Island. North of the city, Westchester and Rockland counties are also at high risk for community transmission of Covid. Neighboring Putnam County, however, has moved up to the CDC’s medium category.

All but three counties in neighboring New Jersey are also at high risk for transmission.

While the good news continues is that the high level of hospitalizations that accompanied the omicron wave at the start of the year has not materialized, the current dominant subvariant, known as BA.5, is more likely to re-infect people who have already had Covid and it is also able to evade the protection offered by vaccines, although vaccines still protect against serious illness, hospitalization and death.

In the news we cover today, Europe is in the throes of a wave of Covid, President Biden has new symptoms but continues to improve from his coronavirus infection, and research shows that a combination of nasal and throat swabs will provide much better test results than a nasal swab alone.

Here’s a look at what’s happened over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

Research suggests that the combination of nasal swabs and testing could detect more coronavirus infections, according to two research papers.

Two papers, which have yet to be published in scientific journals, argue that coronavirus tests that analyze both nasal and throat swabs would provide more accurate results that better reflect an individual’s positive or negative result. than tests that rely solely on a nasal swab.

The research looked at 228 people from 56 Los Angeles-area households during the period of November 23, 2021 to March 1, 2022, covering the period when the omicron variant was spreading rapidly.

Such dual-swab tests are common in many other countries but have yet to be adopted in the United States.

Meanwhile, President Joseph Biden’s condition continues to improve as he continues his antiviral treatment Paxlovid, one of the main treatments for SARS-CoV-2. He has developed a sore throat and body aches but is tolerating Paxlovid well.

“His main symptoms, although less bothersome, now include sore throat, rhinorrhea, wet cough and body aches,” said the presidential doctor.

OVERALL

The number of coronavirus cases in Europe has tripled in just six weeks, according to data from the World Health Organization. The latest figures from the WHO show nearly 3 million new people contracted the virus between July 11 and July 17. This figure represents almost half of all new cases worldwide during this period.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily stats for Sunday, July 24.

As of Sunday morning, the world recorded 574.8 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 0.6 million cases and 6.4 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. Additionally, 543.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 900,000.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 24,021,995, an increase of 65,000. Of this figure, 99.8%, or 23,976,973, are considered mild and 0.2 %, or 45,022, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the 24 hour pat.

The United States reported 24,251 new coronavirus infections for the previous day on Sunday, compared with 165,180 on Saturday, 153,030 on Friday and 203,255 on Thursday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The 7 day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 128,777. due to fewer tests performed.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 127,788, an increase of 18%, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 445, an increase of 38% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 42,993, an increase of 16%.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States on Sunday recorded nearly 92.2 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of 1.05 million. India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world, 43.9 million, and a reported death toll of 526,033.

New data from Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat showed in late May that the number of Covid- or Covid-related deaths since the pandemic began there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the second highest number of pandemic-related deaths in the world. , after the United States. Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from coronavirus or related causes in April, compared to 35,584 in March and 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil has now recorded the third highest death toll from the virus, 676,979, and has recorded more than 33.5 million cases.

France continues to occupy the fourth position in the total number of cases with more than 33.5 million cases, and Germany is in the fifth position with more than 30.3 million.

The other two countries with total cases above 20,000 are currently the United Kingdom, with 23.2 million cases, in sixth place, and Italy, with more than 20.6 million, in seventh place.

SPOTLIGHT ON IMMUNIZATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Sunday, more than 261.2 million people in the United States – or 78.7% – had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.2%, or 222.9 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 601.5 million. Breaking it down further, 89.9% of the population over 18 – or 232.1 million people – have received at least one first vaccination and 77% of the same group – or 198.9 million people – are fully vaccinated. . In addition, 51.4% of this population, or 102.3 million people, have already received a third dose, or booster dose, of vaccine.

Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data on a weekly basis and releasing it on Sundays by 8 p.m. EDT, according to a statement posted on the agency’s website.

More than 66.9% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online science publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.29 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide and 6.15 million doses are now being administered every day.

Meanwhile, only 19.6% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only a few of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% vaccination mark. Many countries, however, are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.

Additionally, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Paul Riegler contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Mary I. Bruner