Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
This week’s video is special for a number of reasons, including the location used for filming. Be sure to check it out.
Worldwide, the numbers of COVID cases are up about 50 percent. In the U.S., case numbers have been pretty flat for several weeks, with the average number staying between 95,000 to 115,000. Regional differences are notable and hospitalizations have increased but remain at about 32,000 with fewer than 4,000 in intensive care. Mortality remains low, below 400 a day. In Harris County, the wastewater surveillance study continues to show the prevalence of the virus increasing.
Omicron BA.5 has officially become the dominant variant in all parts of the United States. It is hitting vaccinated people, but is much milder. We are not seeing the severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths with BA.5 compared to the other variants.
Vaccinations have been the biggest factor in saving lives. A study in Lancet Infectious Diseases found that in the first year of vaccine rollout, the vaccine saved 19-20 million lives. And 6.8 -7 million of the prevented deaths were in countries covered by the COVAX initiative that ensured vaccines were sent to poorer countries.
Another special part of this week’s video is a report that Lily found very interesting. It is the first time she has been very focused on science so I am sure you will want to see what grabbed her attention.
Hope you have a great weekend. Stay safe. Harris County is still considered in the high range for COVID transmission.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO