Hospitalizations rise as experts monitor new COVID-19 variant

COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone up 21.6 percent and deaths have also risen by 8.9 percent from the week prior, according to the CDC's most recent data, which reflects updated numbers as of Aug. 12. 

There were 12,613 new COVID-19 admissions for the week ending Aug. 12. The increase comes after health officials detailed concerns over a new variant that has multiple mutations known as BA.2.86, but in an Aug. 23 risk assessment, the CDC stated "It is also important to note that the current increase in hospitalizations in the United States is not likely driven by the BA.2.86 variant," the risk assessment reads. "This assessment may change as additional data become available."

The CDC noted that while BA.2.86 has concerning mutations, it is still too early in its emergence to know if it causes more severe illnesses or is more transmissible than other variants.

Right now, the dominant variant as the U.S. inches closer to the beginning of respiratory virus season is EG.5, making up 20.6 percent of cases followed by FL.1.5.1 which currently accounts for 13.3 percent of cases. 

Although multiple XBB variants and subvariants still dominate the COVID-19 virus landscape in total. 

The CDC noted it is expecting further increases in hospitalizations in the weeks to come as these new variants continue to spread.


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