BA.2 may not drive up hospitalizations, Fauci says: 3 COVID-19 updates

COVID-19 cases will likely rise nationwide over the next few weeks, but hospitalizations may not follow suit, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Bloomberg April 6. 

Nationwide, COVID-19 cases have fallen 3 percent in the last 14 days, according to data tracked by The New York Times. However, cases were increasing in 28 states and Washington, D.C., as of April 8. Hospitalizations were also up in five states, though Dr. Fauci said the number of people with immunity from a past infection or vaccination could prevent U.S. hospitalizations from surging. 

"I would not be surprised if we see an uptick in cases," Dr. Fauci told Bloomberg. "But the one thing I hope, and I believe there is reason that this will not happen, is that we won't get a very large increase proportionally of hospitalizations because of the background immunity."

Dr. Fauci said it is difficult to predict whether the expected uptick in cases could become a larger surge. He also said it's likely the U.S. will see another increase in cases this fall as the colder weather brings people indoors. 

Two more COVID-19 updates: 

1. The CDC issued a report on COVID-19 reinfections April 8, detailing 10 patients — either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated — who had confirmed omicron infections within 90 days of a previous delta infection. The shortest gap between infections was just 23 days and involved an unvaccinated child. 

2. The nation's COVID-19 vaccination campaign has prevented about 2.2 million deaths, 17 million hospitalizations and 66 million infections since Dec.12, 2020, according to an April 8 report from the Commonwealth Fund. The estimated healthcare cost savings associated with these outcomes is $899.4 billion.

 

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