And Now, here comes COVID-19 version BA.2, BA.4, BA.5,...

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In summary, the BA.2 variant of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is now nearly a quarter of all COVID cases in the U.S., and is particularly prevalent in the Northeast. However, since the BA.2 variant is more transmissible than the BA.1 variant, many communities can relax since there is no evidence that the BA.2 lineage is more severe than the BA.1 lineage. CDC continues to monitor variants that are circulating both domestically and internationally.
  • #176
pinball1970 said:
Published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Yesterday.

According to this Covid is still more deadly than influenza.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-05-nothingburger-reputation-covid-deadlier-flu.html
The COVID-19 patients were a little older, on average, than the flu patients (73.9 versus 70.2 years old), and they were less likely to be current or former smokers. They were also more likely to have received at least three doses of COVID-19 vaccine and less likely to have shunned the shots altogether.

Yet after Al-Aly and his colleagues accounted for these differences and a host of other factors, they found that 5.7% of the COVID-19 patients died of their disease, compared with 4.2% of the influenza patients.

And it's not like the flu is a trivial health threat, especially for senior citizens and people who are immunocompromised. It routinely kills tens of thousands of Americans each year, CDC data show.

"Influenza is a consequential infection," Al-Aly said. "Even when COVID becomes equal to the flu, it's still sobering and significant."


I don't think that equating Covid with the flu by the CDC is an attempt to downplay it. It's IMO reasonable to normalize COVID-19 with flu now.
 
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  • #177
And I dare say high time. Both covid and the flu have always been a threat for those with obesity and related life style induced co morbidities.
 
  • #178
I went to the clinic a couple of months ago and based on the following information I've been collecting, I opted for the pneumonia vaccine. My first ever! Before all the Covid hoo-ha, I don't think I even knew that pneumonia was such a prominent killer, nor that there was even a vaccine available.

Flu Pneumonia Covid deaths per CDC. 2024-05-17 at 00.59.11.png

week (40 ≈ Oct 1, 2023)​


source of data: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html
 
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  • #179
I expect that the general interest in the Covid variants will fade soon, the virus will continue to mutate, as does the flu virus, but no one really talks about the flu variants, unless its a pandemic variant. I suspect we will see variations in the mortality estimates, it happens with flu but generally the figures will be similar.
I suspect the figures suggesting that there is a higher mortality in the vaccinated are simply a reflection of the higher numbers of the population being vaccinated, particularly those most at risk.
It's very useful that OmCheeto has drawn attention to other infections, it is in fact other infections that kill most people who have been weakened by a prior viral infection.
While I have little doubt that Covid, which has some interesting effects on our immune system, will come up with some more surprises, I'm hopeful the threat will fade, at least until the next pandemic. At least we have learned a great deal from this episode, which should increase our resilience.
 
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  • #180
The good news is that in the early spring of 2024, COVID-19 cases were down, with far fewer infections and hospitalizations than were seen in the previous winter. But SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID, is still mutating. In April, a group of new virus strains known as the FLiRT variants (based on the technical names of their two mutations) emerged.

The FLiRT strains are subvariants of Omicron. One of them, KP.2, accounted for 28.2% of COVID infections in the United States by the third week of May, making it the dominant coronavirus variant in the country; another, KP.1.1, made up 7.1% of cases.
https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/3-things-to-know-about-flirt-new-coronavirus-strains

Laroxe said:
I'm hopeful the threat will fade, at least until the next pandemic. At least we have learned a great deal from this episode, which should increase our resilience.
Enough people got vaccinated (and boosted) that perhaps another Covid pandemic is mitigated. The impact of influenza is likely mitigated by vaccinations, particularly for those 65 years and older.


Four years ago, when we were starting to learn more about SARS-Cov2
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090123220300540
 
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