Coronavirus levels in Los Angeles County wastewater have increased, likely due to the emergence of a more infectious Omicron subvariant called Arcturus.
The latest strain, officially known as XBB.1.16, is probably responsible for the increase in coronavirus cases in India, where there have been several anecdotal reports of coronavirus cases. Rare COVID-19 symptoms, especially in children: pink eyes.
Arcturus created a higher percentage of coronavirus cases nationwide. It covers about 10% of US cases in the week ending Saturday; the previous week was about 6%; and the week before it was 3%.
California Department of Public Health estimate Arcturus covers about 7% of coronavirus cases in the same week. At least three cases of Arcturus have been identified in LA County, the agency said Thursday.
It is too early to say whether Arcturus is associated with higher rates of pink eye than older coronavirus variants.
But the health agency said people “should be aware that itchy, watery or red eyes can be signs of a COVID-19 infection and should not simply ignore these symptoms due to pollen or allergies.” seasonally, especially if someone is more vulnerable than a serious illness could be exposed.”
Pink eyes, also known as conjunctivitis, can lead to eye damage if left untreated. Officials urge people to use home coronavirus tests to determine if they are infected.
An increase in wastewater levels in LA County could be an early sign of increased spread of the coronavirus, health officials said, although reported cases have remained relatively stable. , as well as the number of hospitalizations and deaths. In the most recent week, there were 54 Covid-19 deaths reported in Los Angeles County. There were 44 deaths reported last week and the previous week 59.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that because Arcturus is related to recent strains of coronavirus, vaccines and anti-COVID drugs such as Paxlovid will still be quite effective for severe illness and death.
“While we are faced with the fact that a new strain of Omicron is taking over and the impact is not yet predictable, I am confident that the tools at our disposal — including vaccines, treatments and testing — can limit bad outcomes,” Ferrer said in a statement Thursday.
That said, it’s important that people get COVID-19 vaccine update. Only about 40% of LA County seniors 65 years of age and older receive the up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine, introduced in September.
COVID-19 remains a significant cause of death, even as the magnitude of the pandemic has decreased significantly. In 2022, COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death in Los Angeles County, behind coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, according to an analysis of preliminary data by the Department of Public Health.
Feces of leading cause of death in LA County last year were stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, unintentional drug overdose, hypertension, and pneumonia/flu.
However, COVID-19’s third place represents an improvement since 2021, when the disease was the leading cause of death. In 2020, COVID-19 is the second leading cause of death, after coronary heart disease.
Those results show how the risk of COVID-19 for the general population has been reduced. Vaccines will become available by mid-2021 and anti-COVID drugs by mid-2022.
About 260,000 won Covid-19 deaths were reported nationwide by 2022. There are approximately 472,000 deaths in 2021 and approximately 355,000 deaths in 2020. More than 40,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported nationwide this year.
Older people who are unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated are most likely to die from COVID-19.
Although some medical professionals wear masks less often due to lower levels of coronavirus transmission, they say they are still trying to take reasonable steps to avoid infection. Reducing your risk of infection is especially important if you are older, belong to a higher-risk group, or have an underlying health condition.
Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease specialist at UC San Francisco, said that if you get coronavirus, “you still have to be in quarantine for five days, so that’s a shame.
That said, Chin-Hong says he doesn’t have any problems anymore eating at the in-house restaurant.
“And maybe the only times I can wear a mask are in the hospital,” and perhaps on a plane, he said, noting that he wore a mask on a recent flight when he was around. a group of passengers returning from Europe “and they were all coughing and coughing, and none of them were wearing masks.”
State epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said recently meeting that if she sees an increase in COVID-19 she will probably still test her family before they dine in the house with her parents.
And in an interview last week, Ferrer said that while she’s now more likely to eat at an in-house restaurant than before, she wants to do it in a place that’s well-ventilated and not crowded. She says she feels comfortable going to sporting events and concerts, although she can wear a mask if the place is crowded or she’s indoors.
“I, like everyone else, have activities that I love and people that I enjoy being with. And I want, as much as possible, to find a way to do that,” Ferrer said. “I belong to one of the higher risk groups. So I want to be sensible about this and, if possible, reduce the risk, but still continue to do a lot of the things that I really love.”
With widespread access to up-to-date vaccines and treatments against COVID, “what I think is different now is that we have more protections,” Ferrer said. “So we need to strike a balance between reducing risk with not being too isolated from the people or activities we love.”
Deciding which risks to take is a personal choice, she said.
“None of us should be judgmental,” Ferrer said. “It’s important for people at higher risk to reduce their risk in sensible ways, wherever they see it as appropriate.”
Spring is when coronavirus cases are usually low.
That “means the chance of you bumping into someone who is positive for COVID-19 is reduced,” Ferrer said. “And if you go to a restaurant inside that’s well-ventilated, not overcrowded, your chances of being exposed are certainly a lot lower than if our transmission rates were higher.”
To control the spread, it’s important to get tested, especially if you have symptoms.
When national public health emergency ending May 11, the federal requirement that health insurance companies reimburse policyholders for eight over-the-counter rapid COVID tests per month will also cease.
But even after May 11, many Californians still have the right to be tested, and their insurance company must reimburse the cost of the test. Thanks to SB 510 And SB 1473, each person covered under the health plans regulated by the state’s Department of Health Care Administration will still pay the cost of eight over-the-counter rapid tests per month. This includes the health insurance many people get from their employers, as well as Medi-Cal administered and Covered California plans.
Beginning November 11, insurers administered by the State Department of Health Care Administration will still have to pay for COVID tests if they are offered in-network, but may charge a fee for COVID-19 tests. with out-of-network tests.
Free home test are also available at several locations in LA County, including county libraries, immunization sites operated by the county Department of Public Health, and food banks and senior centers. year old. LA County seniors 65 and older or who are unable to leave their homes can claim two free tests mailed to them.
LA County residents who need help accessing COVID-19 resources can call (833) 540-0473, seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.