COVID-19 hospitalizations are once again on the rise in the U.S. as the new variant, nicknamed “eris,” becomes more common.
However, the number of patients is still lower than previous summers.
The number of hospital admissions for the week ending July 29 were 9,056, according to The Associated Press. That represents a 12% increase from the previous week, but a far cry from past spikes like the 150,000 admissions during the omicron surge of January 2022.
The number of deaths in the U.S. have stayed steady between 500 and 600 throughout the summer.
In New York City, the number of hospitalizations has more than doubled in the last month, but officials have not seen much cause for concern.
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“Right now, there is nothing to suggest that COVID-19 is more transmissible or more lethal, but of course, as we’ve learned over the last three years, things can change with this virus, and we are constantly monitoring the situation,” Pedro Frisneda, a spokesperson for the city Department of Health, said in a statement last week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spikes are being monitored via wastewater.
Cristin Young, an epidemiologist at Biobot Analytics, the CDC’s wastewater surveillance contractor, told the AP the increases were mostly in the East and South. She added that the concentrations are about 2.5 times lower than last summer.
The CDC’s data shows that no strain is dominant, but the eris variant is becoming more common.
“There are a couple that we’re watching, but we’re not seeing anything like delta or omicron,” Young said.
The summer surge comes after the Biden administration ended the national public health emergency, and several months before updated vaccines are expected to become available from Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax.
With News Wire Services