Quick Covid-19 Update for May 2022
Updated: May 18, 2022
Earlier in the year the United States battled the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 strains of Covid-19. The CDC estimates that in December, 33.5% of Americans possessed antibodies to Covid-19, by February that number increased to 57.7%. With BA.1 and BA.2 seeming to die out scientists are now warning about the rise of new variants of Covid-19, the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. Below are the quick facts about these new variants and the current state of Covid-19 in Houston.
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 originated in South Africa and have made their way to the United States.
Currently, the number of BA.4 and BA.5 infections in the US are incredibly small (less than 0.1% of all infections), but their numbers are expected to rise quickly in the coming months.
The Bad News
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants are predicted to be more contagious than earlier strains of Covid-19. This probably means quicker spread and a rise in infections.
The BA.4 and BA.5 variants are proving to be resistant to antibodies from previous infections. This means that you will not be 100% protected from Ba.4 and BA.5 just because you have had Covid-19 in the past.
The Good News
Good News: BA.4 and BA.5 infections are exhibiting mild symptoms and decreased risk of hospitalization similar to the original Omicron variants.
Harris County’s Covid-19 positivity rate is currently 4.8%, this is up from last month’s low of 2.7% but way below January’s high of 37%
Harris County is currently in Threat Level Yellow, which according to Harris County officials, signifies “a moderate, but controlled level of Covid-19 in Harris County”
What to do Right Now
The CDC advises everyone ages 5 years and older to get vaccinated and everyone ages 12 and older to get boosted as well.
Immunocompromised and the elderly are encouraged to talk to their doctor about possibly receiving a second booster.
If you want to learn more about the Covid-19 pandemic and how to keep you and your family safe visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html