He writes that the UK is now in its third wave of infections so far this year Watchman.
Although people are now better protected and the prevailing viral variants are much gentler than they were at the start of the pandemic, so there are not many more deaths during peak periods of infection, experts are concerned.
A fourth wave of infections is expected in the fall and possibly the fifth before Christmas.
This makes experts question whether the coronavirus will ever occur in a seasonal cycle, and question whether it is sustainable in the long term with as much morbidity in the population as COVID-19 ensues.
“The epidemic has taken an unexpected turn,” Harvard epidemiologist Dr Stephen Kessler told the Guardian.
In April 2020, Kessler and his colleagues published an article saying that the seasonal growth of the COVID-19 virus could become a reality in a few years.
We were expecting strong winter waves, but there weren’t many infections outside of the winter months, Kessler says.
Two years later, Kessler’s view changed.
– Now we’re in a different scene. Most surprising, says the epidemiologist, the fact that new species occur in rapid succession has changed the way waves of infection look.
– more compact
The waves seem to follow one another closely, agrees Professor Peter Openshaw, an immunologist at Imperial College London and adds:
The change is that the new waves at the beginning of the epidemic were driven by the emergence of more transmissible variants, such as Alpha and Delta, which spread infection more easily. Later variants, including the latest BA.2.75 variant, with the alias Centaurus, are now primarily run by escape variants. Openshaw explains that these have the potential to infect vaccinated and infected people, until very recently.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee reported this week that re-infection of virus variants BA.4 and BA.5 can occur as early as 28 days after they have succumbed to covid-19.
– It seems as if the speed of replacing new variants has accelerated. The professor says that each wave of coronavirus no longer produces shockingly high death rates, but it is still being felt across the country.
This week, school enrollment in England fell to its lowest level since January, with nearly one in five secondary students absent and 8 per cent of teachers absent from work.
Hospitals, which are already trying to overcome the massive operational backlog, are under tremendous pressure due to staff absenteeism.
26,874 health workers stopped working for coronavirus-related reasons last week.
The ambulance service has been pushed to the limit, described as “on the verge of collapse” recently BBC article.
The already large number affected by COVID-19 continues to grow in the UK.
At home in Norway, Health Peaks believe we have reached peak infection in the summer, and that the pressure of infection will dissipate further during the summer weeks.
– They made plans
When and how the subsequent increase in infections will manifest itself depends on how well we protect us as a population against the variants of the virus that are spreading in Europe this fall. We’ve made plans to do fairly extensive home testing, and we can boost individual infection control boards, if there’s a need during the fall, says Espen Rostrop Nakstad, assistant director of health.
He points out that even if we were exposed to new waves of infection in the fall and winter, the risk of serious disease would be low for most people.
The uncertainty is, of course, related to the virus variants we have left behind as winter approaches. We don’t know that yet, but there are many indications that a population’s immunity is getting stronger based on disease history and vaccinations, says Nakstad.
Director of Studies Frode Forland at the National Institute of Public Health believes we should be prepared for new waves during the fall and winter, as the FHI also describes in risk assessment.
We now have a well-vaccinated population, many of whom have acquired natural immunity through infection. This makes us better prepared to withstand new waves of infection. We can also give refill doses of the vaccine and modify the vaccines if new variants require it, Forland says.
On the advice of the National Institute of Mental Health, the government has introduced a new dose of refresher for everyone over the age of 75, for those with underlying risk factors and for those living in nursing homes.
The vaccine is our most important protection against the dangerous consequences of the epidemic now and in the future. How often the new dose will be necessary for most people, and when it should be taken, is continually evaluated by the FHI, Forland says.
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