We’re Losing Track of COVID-and It’s Going to Bite Us in the Ass
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Thanks to vaccines and lingering antibodies from past infection, these surges are nowhere near as bad—or as deadly—as previous surges. Amid an overall global decline in COVID, the USA saw an uptick in infections, from a year-low of 30,000 daily new cases in late March and early April to 85,000 daily new cases last week. South Africa meanwhile saw daily new cases rise from 1,300 to 7,700 over the same period.
Hospitalizations and deaths aren’t rising nearly as much, of course—again thanks to all those vaccines and antibodies. What’s perhaps more worrying is the decrease in testing that has tracked along with the increase in infections. At the same time COVID is surging, we seem to be losing our original tool for tracking the disease.
In the U.S., we were testing 2.5 million people every day at pharmacies, drive-through sites, and other locations that reported their test results to state authorities, which in turn reported them to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today we’re testing just 55,000 people a day. Individual testing is collapsing in other countries, too.
Testers scoop water from water-treatment plants, sewers, and septic tanks, test for SARS-CoV-2 and log the results. Sequencing random samples can determine exactly which variants and subvariants are present in a particular community. It was wastewater monitoring that warned us about a regional surge in the BA.2.12 subvariant of Omicron in and around New York starting in late March. European countries, Australia, and countries across Asia have ramped up their own wastewater monitoring, too. A global surveillance system, one that doesn’t depend on voluntary individual testing, is taking shape.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
May 20, 2022 at 2:18 PM #487736
May 20, 2022 at 2:42 PM #487737djean111Participant
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U.S. Buys Millions of Monkeypox Vaccines As Massachusetts Man Infected
The U.S. government has ordered millions of doses of a vaccine that protects against monkeypox. The news follows the first confirmed case in the states—a man in Massachusetts—following an outbreak in the U.K.
The order amounts to a $119 million order for Jynneos vaccines, which are used for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox. It was announced by biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, which makes the vaccine, on Wednesday.
The order will convert bulk vaccines, which have already been made and invoiced under previous contracts with the U.S. government, into freeze-dried versions which have an improved shelf-life.
The total government contract with Bavarian Nordic amounts to $299 million, which would provide 13 million freeze-dried doses.
So great that this vaccine was waiting in the wings, eh? And the WHO is gearing up to take precedence over individual countries who are members of the WHO.
America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)
"Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" GRRM
A YouTube comment – we need new conspiracy theories – the old ones have all come true.
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