Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Third Spike

The poop is being thrown freely about whether there is a third spike of C19 occurring. Worldwide, the answer is an unequivocal yes.  In the US the answer is varied. A half-dozen states have a large increase in number of cases, another half-dozen troubling increases, and a few have mod increases in death, some dramatic: LA, MS, TN, FL, NV.

A lot of states have a new moderate increase in  number of cases, including some states which have had very low rates until recently, such a HI, VT, AK. There is some trend for the warmer states to be seeing more cases, but not all, and Washington and Oregon are suddenly worse. More death anywhere is partiularly alarming, because hospitals and clinics have a lot of experience treating Covid now, and we should not be seeing much.

Bsking suggests that we should switch to hospitalisations as the metric.  At-home cases are more of an inconvenience than a danger at this point, but improved treatment reduces the number of deaths over the rate that occurred in early 2020.This makes sense and I may start looking at things from that perspective instead.

The overall is that yes, we have a third spike in the US, but it is mitigated by vaccinations, low base rate in some states, improved treatment, and the avoidance distancing we do automatically now, even when we say there are no precautions. The southeast and south central states worry me, as do the previously closed states now open for tourism. The rest, including even NYC and other northern cities, do not seem to be exploding. The international spike worries me because it will affect things here.

International update out of Israel. The graph shows the rate of infecting others is much higher for the unvaccinated, while the vaccinated are mostly spreading to household members only.  One of the comments did immediately ask how much age is a factor in that, as the children, with wider outside contacts are mostly unvaccinated, and the elderly, with mostly in-home contacts are vaccinated. It's a good question and probably bends the numbers a bit, but the trend is still very strong.


Cranberry said...

More news from Israel:

She explained that Israel's decision to make available a booster shot is based on evidence of the difference between infection rates in those who were vaccinated early on and those vaccinated later, but also the evidence of increased hospitalizations of severe and critical cases among the 60 and above population who are fully immunized.

FIFO. The first to be vaccinated are starting (in the aggregate) to show waning protection against COVID. Israel is talking about lockdowns and boosters.

The US prioritized the most vulnerable for the earliest vaccines. I do not think the northern states are safer. Based on the experienc in Israel, we may well stand on the threshold of a new wave of outbreaks.

I think it would make sense to give booster shots to the people who were the earliest adapters, i.e., those most likely to die from an infection, rather than try to pressure people who do not want the vaccine to be vaccinated.

The desire to blame the unvaccinated for spread makes little sense. If the vaccinated are now 50% of the cases in Israel, they can potentially spread the disease to others. Dr. Alroy-Preis said:

"We saw that 80 percent of vaccinated individuals who have become confirmed cases themselves had zero contact with confirmed cases, while 10 percent had one contact of confirmed cases," she said, adding that "their ability to infect others is 50 percent lower than those who are not vaccinated."

She noted while there is spread among household contacts, the risk of confirmed cases of vaccinated individuals infecting others is about 10 percent while the risk of infecting more than one individual is lower than 10 percent.

The WHO has apparently called for vaccines to be used in developing countries with poor vaccination coverage, rather than to be used as booster shots in the developed world.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Perhaps the WHO can get the Chinese to pony up those vaccines. They seem to be on pretty good terms.

Cranberry said...

You made me laugh. Thank you.

But seriously, boosters vs. international vaccination seems to be a running debate:

The head of WHO wants a moratorium on booster shots until the end of September. Given that Israel, France, Germany and other countries have started administering boosters, and that the US and Britain are considering it, it sounds like a non-starter.

Grim said...

Locally, this region of NC is having a case spike, but it seems to be vacationers from Florida (these being the first mountains you get to going north from there). Our cases are up 129% this week over last week, but we haven't had a death from COVID since last winter. Hospitalization is only up by a tenth what the case count is up: 12% instead of 129%, or in raw numbers, 9 vs. 94.

pacman said...

Most of the unvaccinated cases are kids (with lots of non-household contacts) while most of the vaccinated cases are older (with fewer non-household contacts) and it doesn't control for age.

Texan99 said...

A big reason the new spike in "cases" doesn't result in a comparable spike in hospitalization and deaths is that the age group that is most likely to be hospitalized or killed by a case is the same that is disproportionately vaccinated. Some small percentage of younger unvaccinated people will still be extremely unlucky and die, but the proportion of severe illness to cases will not be as high as it was before the vaccine was available to the people most at risk, and most likely to take the risk seriously.