Coronavirus BA.5 is a ‘whole different animal’ | News


The number of new coronavirus cases in La Paz County declined to 41 in the week between July 20 and July 27. That compares with 62 new cases the week before and 53 new cases the week before that.

That brings the county’s total to 5,586, with 147 virus-related deaths.

This comes at a time when health officials are concerned about the latest variant of the COVID coronavirus, named BA.5. This variant is highly contagious, and has spread quickly. Reuters reported this variant is fueling a surge of new cases around the world. It appears to be resistant to vaccines for earlier variants, and people who have had the virus in the past can get infected again. It does not appear to cause the severe symptoms that the Delta variant did.

“Forget Delta, Alpha and the original Omicron variant,” the U.C. Davis Health website said. “The latest Omicron subvariant BA.5 is a whole different animal. Its most defining factor? It is the most easily transmissible COVID variant to date, able to evade previous immunity from COVID infection and vaccination.”

Reuters and Fox News reported BA.5 now makes up 82 percent of all coronavirus variants circulating in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control reported there are an average of 125,355 new cases reported every day as of July 29. They said BA.5 accounts for 78 percent of new cases in the United States, and the number of new cases is increasing. They said the average number of new hospitalizations each day is 6,298, with 36,996 hospitalized as of July 29.

The symptoms of BA.5 are consistent with earlier variants. They include fever, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, headaches, muscle pain and fatigue.

U.C. Davis Health said the best protection against BA.5 is to make sure your vaccinations and boosters are up to date. They say this will protect individuals and lessen the symptoms of the virus. They also recommended wearing masks and continuing to practice social distancing.

The Colorado River Indian Tribes reinstated many of their mask requirements for indoor public places on Tribal land, stating the transmission level for the county is “high.” There were 26 new cases between July 13 and July 19 among Tribal members tested at Indian Health Services. With 1,938 cases among Tribal members, more than 40 percent of members have had or have the virus.

The Tribes have seen a total of 26 virus-related deaths.

Statewide, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported there were 2,196,429 cases as of July 27. That’s 17,249 new cases since July 20, or about 900 fewer new cases than the week before. There have been 30,768 virus-related deaths. The Worldometers website, which tracks cases worldwide, said there were 65,092 active cases in the state and 2,100,569 Arizonans have recovered. The recovery rate for the cases that have reached a conclusion and have been closed is 98.5 percent.

Arizona’s case rate of 30,552.6 per 100,000 residents is higher than the national average of 27,000 per 100,000 residents.

The ADHS said 12.27 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the state.

Nationwide, Worldometers reported the number of cases at 93,068,141 as of July 30. More than one-in-every-four Americans has or has had the virus. There had been 1,055,039 virus-related deaths. A total of 88,056,452 Americans had recovered, and there were 3.8 million active cases. The national recovery rate is approximately 99 percent.

Around the world, Worldometers reports there have been 581,441,004 cases with 6,418,666 deaths. A total of 551,381,293 have recovered. The recovery rate is 99 percent.

After the United States, India has the most number of cases at 44 million. France and Brazil both have approximately 33.8 million.

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