According to the Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the next two months of March and April are crucial in curbing the further spread of the Coronavirus. The case levels have finally started to decrease in the past week. Many people have been vaccinated and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has even issued guidelines to be followed by those who are vaccinated.
Critical Months To Curb The Spread Of The Virus
With the decline in new daily cases, several states have relaxed their safety precautions and mandates. Officials warn against taking this step with spring break just weeks away, the chances of a steep rise in cases is imminent.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says, “There is so much that’s critical riding on the next two months. How quickly we will vaccinate versus whether we will have another surge relies on what happens in March and April.”
On top of the concern surrounding the spring break surge, medical professionals worry about the danger that looms with the UK variant B.1.1.7 of the Coronavirus. According to Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, over the next six to fourteen weeks the B.1.1.7 variant could take a severe toll on the number of cases occurring daily.
In a statement to the press, he said, “Four weeks ago, the B.1.1.7 variant made up about 1% to 4% of the virus that we were seeing in communities across the country. Today, it’s up to 30% to 40%. What we’ve seen in Europe when we hit that 50% mark, you see cases surge.”
CDC director Dr. Walensky declared that the US health system is frail right now. She expressed her hope that leaders and individuals take it upon themselves to ensure that safety precautions are still maintained. She advises that everyone continue to wear their masks when in public, practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.
The B.1.1.7 variant seems to be a cause for concern in several cases. Hospitals and medical practitioners have noted the frightening efficacy with which this variant can infect others. The variant is reported to be highly contagious with several of the latest cases being credited to the B.1.1.7 variant.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned that an increase in the B.1.1.7 variant related cases would be on the rise in mid-January. So far that prediction has become a reality. The agency has now reported 3000 cases that have a connection with the variant across several of the American states. The alarming reality remains that these cases are only the ones we know of that have a connection to the variant. There still remains the possibility that there are several cases with a relation that have not yet been discovered.
Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist said that medical officials have been keeping track of the B.1.1.7 variant since it first popped up. She states, “Where it has hit in the UK and now elsewhere in Europe, it has really been catastrophic. It has driven up rates of hospitalizations and deaths and it’s very difficult to control.”
Research indicated that the variant has a 59% to 74% higher rate of transmission as compared to the novel Coronavirus. For this very reason, medical professionals are encouraging leaders to promote Covid 19 safety precautions. They are also firm in their belief that a larger number of people need to be vaccinated to protect against the Coronavirus. Dr. Gounder says, “We’re almost there, we just need to give ourselves a bit more time to get a larger proportion of the population covered with vaccines.”