Experts warn of a COVID-19 wave that is 'almost like omicron'

The increasing prevalence of "unbelievably transmissible" COVID-19 omicron subvariants has experts concerned about a potential new wave of cases that may go partly undetected as people turn to home tests instead of lab tests, The Houston Chronicle reported May 16.

"This is a full-on wave almost like omicron," said Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, in a series of May 14 tweets, encouraging the nation to raise vaccination rates. The omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 accounted for nearly 48 percent of new cases for the week ending May 14, according to data from the CDC. 

Dr. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and a professor of pediatrics and microbiology and virology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houson, drew attention to rising cases and hospitalizations. As of May 11, the nation's seven-day case average was 84,778, a 30.7 percent increase from the previous week's average, while hospitalizations were also up by 17.5 percent, the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker weekly review shows.

"I know it is frustrating, we're all tired of this, but that's life in the big city, we're experiencing another wave," Dr. Hotez said. "Max out your vaccinations while we still have vaccine inventory, and if you get sick and test positive, call your [primary care provider] about Paxlovid but do it early." 


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