The Med & Mic™ 01.04.22
The Omicron Forecast
I'm sharing this well-written article, "Forecasting the Omicron winter," from STAT news. It makes several important points.
We’re in for a long road.
Rapid spread is due to Omicron’s ability to get around immunity from vaccines and prior illness.
We are in for a surge, the size of which depends on behaviors, such as booster uptake.
The surge may not resolve quickly in America, where many people are older and have a lot of other health conditions that put them at risk.
One percent of London is getting infected every day.
Even if illnesses are milder in general, there will always be a subset of people who require hospitalization, and some of those people will die. With a big surge, mathematically, that’s a large number of bad situations for people and the healthcare system.
If the entire nation is hit with big numbers at once, diverting supplies to areas of need will not be possible, because everyone will be in need.
Public health strategies, such as quarantines and contact tracing, will be hard to accomplish with such rapid spread.
Long-term forecasting depends on what happens with future variants.
Omicron may have come from an animal reservoir. Coronavirus is widespread among many animals. Every so often, the virus could spill out of their animal safe harbor and into humans, resulting in intermittent outbreaks. This pattern could go on for decades.
This is not a flu pandemic. The mutations have been quite different.
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