Global COVID cases trend down, with surges in Japan, Korea

International COVID-19 instances dropped once more final week, because the BA.5-fueled illness burden shifts to some Asian nations, together with Japan and South Korea, the World Well being Group (WHO) stated in its newest weekly update.

In US developments, the Biden administration at this time launched two new reviews on lengthy COVID, one on a analysis motion plan and the opposite on providers and help for individuals experiencing the long-term results of the illness.

Instances nonetheless excessive as subvariants improve

After world instances rose by June, COVID exercise seems to be declining, with a 9% drop final week in comparison with the week earlier than, the WHO stated. Two areas, nevertheless, reported will increase, the Western Pacific, the place instances rose 20%, and Africa, the place diseases had been up 5%.

The WHO has urged warning in deciphering developments primarily based on instances, as a result of declines in testing and surveillance.

Within the Western Pacific area, the best jumps had been in Japan, which reported a 42% improve, and South Korea, which reported a 25% rise in comparison with the week earlier than.

Japan’s instances are averaging greater than 200,000 per day, with healthcare methods feeling strain in some areas, partly as a result of COVID-19 diseases in workers, in keeping with the Japan Times. South Korea is reporting greater than 100,000 instances a day, the best for the reason that center of April, in keeping with the Korea Herald.

In Africa, the largest proportional will increase had been reported from Liberia, Seychelles, and Rwanda.

Of greater than 6.5 million instances reported to the WHO final week, the 5 international locations with essentially the most instances had been Japan, the US, South Korea, Germany, and Italy.

Deaths had been steady final week after rising the earlier week, with about 14,000 reported to the WHO, with the US reporting essentially the most.

The proportions of extra transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants proceed to extend. BA.5 prevalence rose from 63.8% to 69.6%, and BA.4 ranges rose barely, from 10.9% to 11.8%.

Biden administration unveils long-COVID reviews

In April, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum calling for 2 reviews in 120 days, each addressing the problem of lengthy COVID, by which sufferers contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 expertise signs—some severe—for months and even years.

The Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS) released the 2 reviews at this time, one on a research action plan and the opposite on federal services and support for individuals with lengthy COVID. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, JD, stated, “As our nation continues to make strides within the combat towards COVID-19, these reviews are vital to shine a light-weight on Lengthy COVID’s influence and tips on how to match individuals to sources.”

HHS estimates that 7.7 million to 23 million Individuals are experiencing lengthy COVID, and that about 1 million are out of the workforce at any given time, amounting to $50 billion in misplaced earnings annually.

In different COVID developments:

  • President Biden, who’s experiencing a rebound after Paxlovid therapy, examined optimistic for COVID once more at this time for the fifth day in a row, in keeping with a statement from his doctor, Kevin O’Connor, DO. He famous that the president has a light-weight cough however completed a light-weight exercise at this time. Biden will proceed to isolate and work from the manager residence.
  • The European Medicines Company at this time recommended that pericarditis and myocarditis be listed as new negative effects within the product data for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, owing to a small variety of reported instances.
  • Cattle can sometimes be contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, although it is not clear if the animals can transmit the virus, German researchers reported in a research letter in Rising Infectious Ailments. They primarily based their findings on serology checks from samples from German cattle in late 2021.

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