COVID-19 cases rise as scientists identify new Omicron subvariant

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Experts are tracking a new omicron subvariant that could be even more contagious as COVID-19 cases surge around the world.

One scientist predicted case numbers could be five times higher than reported as many people have turned to at-home testing.

Experts are also tracking another new subvariant of Omicron dubbed BA.2.75, which could be even more contagious.

“We’re seeing more reports of cases being transmitted outside,” said Carolyn Cannuscio, an epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Experts say the new variant eludes vaccination protection.

“Not only does it bypass vaccine protection, it eludes your previous infections,” said Dr. Marci Drees, Head of Infection Prevention at ChristianaCare.

Experts say that while it’s not the time to panic, it’s still time to take precautions, such as: B. covering indoors. It’s still highly recommended in Philadelphia.

“Worst experience, I hated that,” said Angelique Gioyard, who had COVID-19 earlier this year. She never wants to get it again, so she kept her mask on.

“I still wear my mask because it just makes me feel more comfortable. I know I’m vaccinated and boosted, but I just prefer to wear my mask,” she said.

Many people in Center City Philadelphia had the same idea: either keep the mask on or keep it off.

Nad Rosenberg wears an N95 on her wrist.

“I just met someone for coffee and arranged for them to sit outside,” she said.

COVID-19 cases are increasing. Pennsylvania is averaging more than 2,121 cases daily, Delaware is averaging 241, and New Jersey is averaging 2,980.
As of last week, New Jersey has six high-level counties, four of which are in South Jersey: Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Atlantic.

According to the CDC, hospital admissions are up 1.8% in Pennsylvania, 22% in New Jersey and down 9.4% in Delaware. But there’s another vaccine on the horizon as we look ahead to fall.

“Both Pfizer and Moderna are working on a combination of vaccines that will contain both the Omicron variant and the original booster,” Drees said. “The hope is that not only will it give you better protection against Omicron and Omicron’s subvariants, but it will still contain that original strain that will boost everything else.”

Scientists also believe the actual case numbers could be five times higher.

“The difficult part is that a lot of people are testing at home or not testing at all. So we can safely assume that regardless of the number of COVID-19 cases locally or nationally, many, many more people are actually contracting COVID-19 now,” Cannuscio said.

Cannusico says the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and fortified. However, as cases and positivity rates rise, it can also be a good idea to test yourself, even if you are not sick.

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