Is Covid back with summer wave as cases rise in UK and US? – WION

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Coronavirus cases have been rising in the United States with reports suggesting that new variants have driven an annual summer surge. The case is similar in the United Kingdom. 

In the US, data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Covid infections are probably growing in at least 38 states. As per Wastewater surveillance, viral activity is relatively low, however, hospitalisations and deaths are reportedly rising. 

CDC revealed that Covid cases are especially high in the West, where viral levels are back to what they were in February. The cases are also increasing in the South. 

As quoted by CNN, Dr Robert Hopkins, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, a nonprofit public health organisation, said: “The virus tends to replicate well and to stay alive in an environment with warm and moist conditions. That fits with what we’re seeing. The South and the West are steamy and hot right now.” 

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While mentioning the seasonal pattern of the deadly virus, Hopkins said, “I think it’s still a bit early to say what the pattern is. A large portion of the population has had some exposure to the virus, the peaks have been a little bit less high, and we have tended to see a summer bump as well as a winter increase.” 

“But whether that pattern is going to continue or whether it will become an all-year-round disease or whether it will stay in one particular time — I think it’s a little early to say,” Hopkins added. 

Summer wave in US 

WastewaterSCAN, which is a nationwide sewage surveillance network based at Stanford University in partnership with Emory University, released data, which indicates that this summer wave started weeks earlier than last year. 

As quoted by CNN, Dr Marlene Wolfe, assistant professor of environmental health at Emory and program director for WastewaterSCAN, said: “It remains to be seen if this will be a peak level for this surge. We are always trying to unpack what is potential seasonality with Covid and also what are the impacts of new variants that may be coming through that drive these surges that we see more regularly, more frequently than we do for influenza and RSV.” 

Watch: Astrazeneca’s big post-Covid move, company voluntarily withdraws ‘marketing authorisation’ for EU 

Covid cases in UK 

People admitted to hospital with Covid rose to 3.31 per 100,000 in the week to June 16 as compared with 2.67 per 100,000 in the last week. 

Data by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed that laboratory tests conducted across the nation, the majority of which involved swabs taken from patients receiving healthcare. 

Based on this information, BBC decoded that 4.37 instances of COVID-19 were reported for per 100,000 hospital admissions in England on June 26, which means one in 25,000 hospital admissions tested positive for Covid on that particular day. 

In a report by the Telegraph, a leading scientist has suggested that Euro 2024 could be behind the summer Covid wave. The “Flirt” variant known as KP.3 is on the rise in several parts of the world, although confirmation has proven difficult due to a lack of testing. 

Is football the reason behind the rise in cases? 

As quoted by Telegraph, Prof Mark Woolhouse, an infectious disease epidemiology expert at the University of Edinburgh and former adviser to the Government on Covid, said the rise in cases coincides with the European Championship, similar to that in 2021. 

Woolhouse, “The surveillance of Covid cases in the UK is far less intensive than it once was, so it is difficult to track the rise and fall of waves of infection, to assess the severity of different variants, or to know how effective the vaccines are against them.” 

“Even so, there is a widespread impression of a growing 2024 summer wave, much as we saw in 2021 when there was also a Euros football tournament, and evidence that this contributed significantly to the spread of infection.” 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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Srishti Singh Sisodia

Srishti Singh Sisodia is a digital journalist at WION and majorly writes on world politics. She is a die-hard FCBarcelona fan. She follows world sports and likes

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