Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
Good news on the COVID-19 front is that the number of cases and hospital admissions in the United States are down. Harris County remains as “moderate” in the CDC’s rating of community levels. We continue to watch the wastewater viral load across the city of Houston. As long as it is decreasing, the case numbers will go down.
In this week’s video, I review an interesting study in the New England Journal of Medicine on the risk of BA.5 infection among persons exposed to previous SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study was conducted in Portugal, where over 98 percent of the population was vaccinated before 2022. Portugal was one of the first countries to be dominated by BA.5. The researchers found that BA.1 or BA.2 infection in vaccinated persons provided higher protection against BA.5 than infection with pre-Omicron variants.
There also is interesting news to report on which vaccines provide the best protection against variants and how the symptoms of COVID-19 are changing over time.
On to monkeypox: this is not the first monkeypox outbreak in the United States. In 2003, 47 cases of monkeypox were reported from six states; all cases were in people who became ill after having contact with pet prairie dogs. Globally, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak has resulted in 53,027 confirmed cases, with 52,516 of those cases in locations that have not historically reported monkeypox. In the U.S., there have been close to 20,000 confirmed cases. The number of cases is trending down.
Are you ready for some football? Lily certainly is. She takes to the gridiron at the end of this week’s video.
Have a great weekend.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO