COVID-19 continues its upward trend in Europe
COVID cases in Europe showed more signs of increasing last week, marking the first regional peak since the last BA.5 wave, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in a statement. Weekly update.
In the past, the increase in cases in Europe has outpaced similar increases in other regions, so trends in Europe are a closely watched global indicator.
Europe’s hardest hit seniors
Cases in people aged 65 and over rose 9% from the previous week, which the ECDC said was led by recent increases in 14 of the 26 European Union countries that have communicated data. Deaths continued their downward trend.
Generally, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) markers were stable across the region, but out of 27 reporting countries, 14 noted an increasing trend. The ECDC said the general picture is that the increase in transmission in the majority of countries is mainly affecting older people, which in turn is impacting hospitals.
“Shifts in population mixing after the summer holidays are likely the main driver of these increases, with no indication of changes in the distribution of circulating variants,” the ECDC said.
In the UK, most COVID indicators rose last week compared to the previous week, the Health Security Agency (HSA) said yesterdaypointing out that hospitalizations are highest among people aged 85 and over and that authorities have seen a sharp increase in hospitalizations among people over 80.
Officials said the North East region had the highest level of hospital admissions and across the region deaths remained stable.
Mary Ramsay, MBBS, who directs HSA’s public health programs, said, “It is now clear that we are seeing an increase which could signal the start of the anticipated winter wave of COVID-19.” She added that now is the time to get vaccinated if she is eligible. “Cases have started to climb and hospitalizations are increasing in the older age groups,” Ramsay said.
Most US Markers Decline Amid Subvariant Changes
In the United States, COVID metrics continue to decline, as variant proportions continue to change. In a Weekly updatethe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the 7-day average of new daily cases fell 13.1% from the previous week, with the 7-day average of new COVID deaths down by 6 .7%.
The 7-day average of new daily COVID hospitalizations fell 7.4% from the previous week. Hospitalizations have fallen by 25% in the past month, the highest rates among adults 85 and older.
One metric that has increased is the 7-day average of PCR test positivity, which has increased slightly from 9.6% to 9.8%. Wastewater monitoring suggests that 53% of monitoring sites reported a decrease in SARS-CoV-2 levels, while 41% reported an increase.
Re variable proportions, BA.5 is still dominant, but continues to slowly decline as new Omicron subvariants continue to slowly increase, the CDC said today in its latest proportion updates. BA.5 fell from 83.2% to 81.3% over the past week, while BA.2.75 fell from 1.2% to 1.4% and BF.7 fell from 2.4% at 3.4%. In addition, the BA.4.6 level, seen at the highest levels in the southern Midwestern states, increased from 11.8% to 12.8%.
7.5 million received an updated booster
In other updates Today, the CDC said more than 7.5 million people have received their updated booster doses, up from 4.4 million last week. However, he also noted that 49.9% of the eligible population had not yet received a booster dose.
A new investigation from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) said half the public had heard little or nothing about the new boosters and many were unsure whether the CDC was recommending them. The results also suggest that a third of adults and nearly half of seniors say they have received the new booster or intend to get it as soon as possible.
The survey found a slight improvement in COVID vaccination for children, suggesting a 7% increase from July. However, half said they would “definitely” not get their child vaccinated against COVID.