Disease experts warn of surge in deaths from Covid variants as US lags in tracking

Experts who have spent the last year forecasting Covid-19 transmission across the US are now considering scenarios for the spread of new, more infectious strains of the coronavirus.

At the same time, the US continues to lag in surveillance for coronavirus variants, despite having among the most well-developed genomic sequencing infrastructure in the world.

The warnings come as the US appears to have crested a devastating winter wave of infections, which at one time saw more than 300,000 new infections and 4,000 deaths a day. Even though daily infections have more than halved from the peak, with death rates expected to drop soon also, the threat of the more infectious variants has some considering the possibility of a fresh surge.

“It’s a grim projection, unfortunately,” said Ali Mokdad, professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, one of the leading academic forecasters of Covid-19. “I’m concerned about a spike due to the new variant and the relaxation of social distancing,” he said. “People are tired. People are very tired.”

Forecasters still do not consider this the most likely scenario, nor do they see it as the worst-case scenario. But the addition of the model is a recognition of how dangerous new variants can be, even in an environment where hospitalization and death rates are expected to decline.

IHME’s “rapid variant spread” model predicts total deaths could increase by 26,000 over the most likely scenario by May. Such a forecast would result in a total of more than 620,000 Covid-19 deaths by that time.

Notably, the most accurate are often “ensemble” forecasts, which draw in many individual projections. The ensemble forecast published by the CDC makes a prediction only through 27 February, when it estimates up to 534,000 deaths could occur. IHME also estimates universal masking could save 31,000 lives.

On Monday, the US surpassed 27m confirmed coronavirus cases, with the country’s death toll nearing 465,000. Both figures are by far the highest in the world, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The most well-understood variant of concern is the B117 strain, first detected in the United Kingdom. B117 is believed to be as much as 50% more transmissible and to be now circulating in the US, where 541 cases have been found in 33 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/08/covid-19-variants-deaths-us-tracking

ARClothMasks Satisfied Customers

Adjust masks size to fit any face
Adjustable masks
Adjustable masks
Adjust mask fit with adjustable masks
Adjustable Masks
Adjust mask size behind the ear
Adjustable masks
Adjustable masks fit little ones snugly
Masks are now adjustable
Marcia Brucks, Principal, Immaculate Conception Catholic School
Arkansas Children's Hospital
Easter Seals Children's Rehabilitation Center
Donation to Little Rock Mayor, Frank Scott
UA at Hope
Sheperd's Cove, Good Shepard Community
Arkansas Children's Hospital
Central Arkansas Water with masks
Arkansas Governor's Office
Helping the US Navy continue their mission, in a safe manner.
Easter Seals Children's Rehabilitation Center
Easter Seals Children's Rehabilitation Center
Central Arkansas Water workers
Close up of custom logo on mask
Email us for information on large orders
Custom masks for EasterSeals
Episcopal Collegiate School masks
Initial on mask
Monogram mask
Football logo masks
Nope masks
Notorious RBG Mask
Superman or Spiderman Mask
Zipper mask
St. Johns
Central Arkansas Library System
Arkansas State University
Raymond James
Bruce Hurlbut from Windstream
Gary Smith from Glass Erector
TY Garments Factory, Port of Little Rock
Custom XM adds smiles, kitten faces and logos to our masks
ConAgra in Russellville picking up their masks
Delivery to Easter Seals
Tina from North Little Rock Recreation Department
Robin Ross and Skip Davidson from Quality Childcare Inc.
Gary Proffitt from Edwards Food Giant
Arkansas Cloth Masks in action
Central Arkansas Water
Smile with your mask
Cloth masks in action
Office work made safer with cloth masks
Office work with Arkansas Cloth Masks