Half Of Americans Have This One Thing In Common
(USNewsMag.com) – The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the globe for more than two years now with several variants having formed out of the initial virus. Throughout this time, there have been numerous studies and agencies trying to track the spread to the prevalence and deadliness of the variants. A new report from the CDC has some shocking figures about just how many people have been infected in the United States.
The Startling Figures
The CDC report focuses on the seroprevalence of infection, or the percentage of the population shown to have antibodies, proving they’ve had COVID-19, between September 2021 and February 2022. What the numbers show is a significant increase in the percentage of those with antibodies between December 2021, when Omicron became the dominant strain, and February 2022.
For example, in December, the CDC calculated through reviewing blood samples of more than 200,000 Americans, that 34% had antibodies, the telltale sign of a prior infection. Fast forward to February 2022, and the number increased to 58% — in only two months.
However, when you look at the figures for children, the escalation is far more significant. In December, for kids ages 17 and under, about 45% of blood samples showed seroprevalence. In February, the number increased by 30 points to approximately 75%.
The two comparisons — adults and children — show just how contagious the Omicron variant was, even if it did result in fewer hospitalizations and deaths. Dr. Kristie Clarke, who works on a CDC team that tracks COVID-19 infections, said she expected the numbers to increase, however, she “did not expect [them] to increase quite this much.”
What Does All This Mean?
Since there is a high rate of prior infection in the United States among all age groups, experts believe it may help protect against future strains. At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Immunologist Florian Krammer indicated, “We will see less and less severe disease, and more and more a shift toward clinically mild disease.” He also says it’ll be increasingly “difficult for the virus to do serious damage.”
However, despite these words, some fear the widespread infection rate means more people will have lingering symptoms such as fatigue and chronic brain and heart issues.
While mandates have pretty much disappeared across the country, this doesn’t mean COVID-19 is disappearing. In fact, there has been a spike in cases in recent weeks, with more than 49,000 reported as of Monday, April 25. Experts are still cautioning people to get the vaccine and to take the proper precautions while out and about.
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