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Utah epidemiologists have predicted about COVID, Omicron, and “Flurona”:

 


After Utah reports Record high number of COVID-19 cases On Wednesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolen predicted that the state “will have a really bad week here for a few weeks” before the virus epidemic begins to subside.

“In all other countries that have been hit, we can see this dramatic rise and many of them are starting to slow down,” Noren answered a reporter’s question at a press conference on Zoom. Said.

Diseases caused by the rising Omicron mutant are generally milder than those caused by previous mutants, but the challenge for Utah is “still many” when many people are infected. Hospitalization will continue. “

And with Beehive hospitals are already overwhelmed“On top of that, it’s really, really a disaster,” she added, Omicron.

As of Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported that 94.6% of all ICU beds in Utah and 96.4% of ICU beds in larger medical centers throughout the state are occupied. Announced about 9,000 new cases. (Hospitals consider numbers above 85% to be functionally full.) Of all ICU patients, 38.1% are treated for COVID-19.

Thursday morning, several Utah hospital leaders said at a joint online press conference that state supply was available. Test centers are overwhelmed by the lack of monoclonal antibodies and oral antiviral treatments Another child in the state died of the coronavirus.

For those who have not been vaccinated or have been boosted, Noren said, “There are still serious concerns that they may get sick and the hospital will take care of everyone. May not be possible. “

Other questions answered by Nolen are:

How about death from Omicron?

“This is something we have to watch over,” Noren said. Elsewhere, she said, fewer people are admitted to the intensive care unit from variants, “I hope it leads to fewer deaths.”

However, health officials are worried that people with unvaccinated underlying illnesses may be at risk, she added. “I don’t want to miss a chance, and I really encourage everyone to do everything they can to protect themselves,” Noren said.

Should Utahns avoid large public events in the coming weeks?

Noren said the Omicron variant is “very contagious,” more so than Delta. “Many of our populations are already affected, so at large events” people are guaranteed to get infected, “she said.

“I really encourage people to think, can they reschedule things?” Noren said. “Can they delay the event they planned? Maybe they will decide not to attend a mass gathering.”

If that is not possible, the next best option is to get vaccinated, boost immunized, and wear a mask, she said.

Should I stop extracurricular activities and sports?

“There are no such recommendations at this time,” says Noren, but “we are certainly trying to work with different schools” to keep our students and staff safe.

“I’ve heard from other states that more children are hospitalized during the pandemic than at any other time,” she said. “… I’m really worried because there is a very young state here in Utah.”

Noren advised parents to have their children vaccinated and encouraged, if eligible, to wear masks and send them to school. “We will see the spread of Omicron at school,” she said.

At the end of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Previously, the CDC advised that children aged 16 to 17 could get boosters.

Earlier this week, the CDC also recommended that children aged 5 to 11 years with immunodeficiency receive a third initial dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after the second dose.

The CDC announced on Tuesday that people of all ages who received a second dose of Pfizer will now be able to receive boosters within 5 months instead of 6 months. The booster windows for those who have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson or Moderna have not changed and remain at 2 months and 6 months, respectively.

In a statement Thursday, Noren said, “We encourage all Utains to give a boost as soon as they qualify. Parents need to take advantage of this extended recommendation to protect their children. “.

[Read more: Will Utah see a surge of COVID-19 cases in schools?]

Is Utah worried about the lack of testing experienced by other states?

Noren said her department “is keeping track of our supplies very closely.” “It’s very difficult to make sure that all the tests are at hand,” because so many people are asking for tests these days.

“We ordered a lot of additional tests,” she said. I hope it arrives on Friday, but supply chain issues may be involved.

“For now, we have what we need, but we are certainly monitoring it,” Noren said.

Are you worried about “Furrona” and the new variant?

(In the newly dubbed “Flurona”, people get sick with both the coronavirus and the flu at the same time. A new variant recently discovered in France.. )

If COVID-19 and the flu occur at the same time, people can become “extremely ill,” Noren said. “It’s really a concern because both of these viruses are prevalent this year,” she said.

“We want to pay attention to the new variant of France,” Noren said, “because this virus mutates,” it will always mutate.

Why did Utah change the quarantine guidance after a positive test?

The Utah Health Department is now Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined for 5 days instead of 10 days. Is it because the first 5 days are more infectious?

“The information provided by the CDC suggests that people, especially those using Omicron, tend to develop symptoms early and overcome the infection early,” Noren said.

“The risk is reduced, but I don’t think it’s zero,” she said.

The CDC strongly recommends wearing a mask for an additional five days after quarantine, Noren said. And the five-day quarantine period is the shortest, she said. People who continue to have symptoms should stay away from others.

California Added test requirements For people to finish quarantine after 5 days. Does Utah do it?

“Our guidance is to strongly encourage people to take tests to get out of isolation,” Noren said. “But we realize that it’s very difficult to take the test right now, so we’re not going to demand it.”

What do you say to anyone who doesn’t think they need a vaccine or booster shot during Omicron?

“People can get breakthrough infections because there is no such thing as a perfect vaccine,” Noren said. “… But I also know that these vaccines prevent people from really getting sick.”

“We want to keep people away from the hospital,” the clinic said, “and we certainly want to prevent them from dying.” “So these vaccines may make you sick, but you may catch a cold for just five days at that time. For me, it’s a victory.”

As of Wednesday, 670,500 people had been boosted, which is 35.1% of adults in the state, according to Utah Health Department spokesman Tom Hudachiko.

“I think a lot of people have felt,” Oh, I took two shots, or I took one shot of Johnson & Johnson, but I’m fine, “Noren said. “… And that was generally true in Delta. Even without the boost, it was pretty much protected from Delta.”

“Unfortunately, Omicron isn’t,” she said, “you can circumvent that basic level of protection that the original shot gave you.”

How reliable is the test at home?

“Home testing isn’t perfect, but it’s actually very good,” Noren said. “… If you need to know if you’re positive, that’s a good option,” especially if the demand for testing is high so far.

“Sure, if you have symptoms, we don’t care what your test says. I want you to stay home,” Noren said. And if you have symptoms, you should assume that you have Omicron, she said.

According to Noren, a home test is “very good at detecting and communicating” whether it is positive for COVID-19.

“If you’re negative, it’s a bit inaccurate,” she warned, “if it’s negative and you feel sick, don’t blow it off.”

..

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