For the first time in two months, Covid-19 case counts and deaths are rising again in most US states, especially in the northern tier and Rocky Mountains, with a potential fifth wave of the pandemic in sight, according to local media reports.
In the week ending on Wednesday, case counts were higher in 29 states than they were the week before, Xinhua news agency quoted a USA Today analysis of Johns Hopkins University data on Friday.
A month ago, cases were rising in just 12 states. Compared to a week earlier, hospitals in 23 states reported a rising number of likely Covid-19 patients, the analysis revealed.
“Experts say the surge is being driven by a combination of factors: the seasonality of the virus, waning immunity and many still unvaccinated Americans. And it underscores the likelihood Covid-19 is here to stay,” the USA Today report said.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is behaving like other coronaviruses that have circulated the globe for decades, Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
“Look at the seasonality. It’s year after year after year. It was so dramatic. We couldn’t believe it,” he said.
These common cold coronavirus illnesses were sharply seasonal, beginning in November and almost disappearing by May, only to return again the following year.
On Thursday, PBS News reported that new Covid-19 infections were on the rise “despite booster shot rollouts, a new vaccine for children and a promising pill that can reduce hospitalisations and deaths”.
“There’s a couple of things in this country we just have to make sure we’re paying attention to,” Andy Slavitt, former senior White House adviser for Covid-19 response, was quoted as saying by PBS.
“One is, we haven’t nearly vaccinated enough people,” and “we have much of the world that’s still not vaccinated.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 100 per cent of US adults aged 65 and older have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.