Global cases of COVID are on the decline, with peaks in Japan and Korea

Global cases of COVID are on the decline, with peaks in Japan and Korea

Global cases of COVID-19 declined again last week as the BA.5-fueled disease burden shifts to some Asian nations, including Japan and South Korea, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. ) in its latest weekly update.

In U.S. developments, the Biden administration today released two new long-term COVID reports, one on a research action plan and the other on services and support for people suffering from the long-term effects of the disease.

Cases still high with the increase of sub-variants

After global cases surged through June, COVID activity appears to be down, down 9% last week from the week before, the WHO said. Two regions, however, reported increases, the Western Pacific, where cases increased by 20%, and Africa, where diseases increased by 5%.

WHO has urged caution in interpreting case-based trends due to declining testing and surveillance.

In the Western Pacific region, the highest jumps were in Japan, which recorded a 42% increase, and South Korea, which recorded a 25% increase from the week before.

Cases in Japan average more than 200,000 per day, with health systems feeling pressure in some areas, partly due to COVID-19 disease in staff, according to the Japan Times. South Korea records more than 100,000 cases per day, the highest since mid-April, according to the herald of Korea.

In Africa, the largest proportional increases were reported from Liberia, Seychelles and Rwanda.

Of the more than 6.5 million cases reported to WHO last week, the five countries with the most cases were Japan, the United States, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

Deaths remained stable last week after rising the previous week, with about 14,000 reported to WHO, with the United States reporting the most.

The proportions of the more transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants continue to increase. The prevalence of BA.5 increased from 63.8% to 69.6% and the BA.4 levels increased slightly, from 10.9% to 11.8%.

Biden administration unveils COVID reports at length

In April, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum calling for two reports in 120 days, both addressing the challenge of the long-standing COVID, in which SARS-CoV-2 infected patients experience symptoms, some severe, for months or even years.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the two reports today, one on a research action plan and the other on federal services and support for people with long-term COVID. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, JD, said, “As our nation continues to make leaps and bounds in the fight against COVID-19, these reports are critical to shedding light on the impact of Long COVID and how to match people to the resources “.

HHS estimates that 7.7 to 23 million Americans are experiencing a long period of COVID and that approximately 1 million are out of the workforce at any given time, worth $ 50 billion in lost earnings each year.

In other COVID developments:

  • President Biden, who is experiencing a rebound after Paxlovid treatment, tested positive for COVID again today for the fifth consecutive day, according to a statement from his doctor, Kevin O’Connor, DO. He noticed that the president has a slight cough but finished a light workout today. Biden will continue to isolate and work from the executive residence.
  • The European Medicines Agency today recommended that pericarditis and myocarditis be listed as new side effects in the product information for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, due to a small number of reported cases.
  • Cattle can occasionally become infected with SARS-CoV-2, although it is unclear whether animals can transmit the virus, the German researchers reported in a research letter in Emerging infectious Diseases. They based their results on serological tests of German cattle samples at the end of 2021.

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