The reservations for COVID-19 forecasts right now
The reservations for COVID-19 forecasts right now

The reservations for COVID-19 forecasts right now

US health officials are closely monitoring COVID-19 activity in the UK, where cases and hospitalizations are rising at the same time due to omicron subvariant BA.2, although many experts say it is too early to predict exactly whether or when a similar increase in virus activity could hit the US

“We’d better be careful, because history has taught us that what happened in the UK generally happens to us three or four weeks later,” said Dr. Fauci during a March 17 meeting of House Democrats, according to Bloomberg.

However, epidemiologists and COVID-19 forecasters say the timeline for a potential increase in cases is still unclear. Predictable modeling from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic projects, average daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. will drop 8.2 percent over the next two weeks. Forecasters predict that this figure will drop from 26,110 cases on March 16 to 23,961 cases by March 30, although they note that there is an uncertainty interval for this future date. *

Nationwide health experts have pointed to several important caveats that complicate COVID-19 forecasts and “pull the American experience away from the European one,” said Bill Hanage, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, in a press call on March 16, according to Atlantic Ocean.

The country’s various infection patterns, variant proportions, vaccination rates and pandemic policies are all factors that could throw a wrench into the “Europe-then-America” ​​trend, experts said.

“I think there are a few different factors that will affect the spread and it can vary geographically from point to point,” Beth Thielen, MD, PhD, a physician for adult and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota Medical School and M Health Fairview in Minneapolis, told Beckers. “So one area of ​​the world may not behave exactly like another area.”

Historically, COVID-19 models have had difficulty determining how public health policy and American behavior affect case frequency. This means that the country’s loosening of public health restrictions and the return of Americans to daily activities could actually make COVID-19 modeling more accurate. However, models have struggled with critical points of change in the orbit of the pandemic over the past two years, according to Shaun Truelove, PhD, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Lauren Ancel Meyers, PhD, director of the COVID-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin, said more time is needed to see if cases begin to plateau or rise in parts of the United States. She said COVID-19 predictions are likely to improve within the next week or so, according to Atlantic Ocean.

Several unanswered questions about the omicron subvariant also create forecast uncertainty. For example, Dr. Meyers that more information is needed on the duration of natural immunity following an omicron infection. The risk of re-infection from BA.2 is also still unclear for individuals infected with BA.1 and BA.1.1, the most common omicron strains spread in the United States this winter.

Dr. Thielen said it is difficult to say when modeling on the path of the pandemic will improve. She pointed wastewater data as a potential early indicator that could help the United States improve its sense of how much the virus is circulating. However, these data still do not explain the extent to which humans are protected against serious illness from vaccination and previous infection.

“If the population is heavily vaccinated, we may not see many diseases, but we can still see a lot of viruses circulating in society or being spread as a kind of mild cold-like disease,” said Dr. Thielen. “So I think we’ll probably still have to see a bit of what it actually looks like in terms of how much disease burden it actually causes.”

* Note: The Mayo Clinic uses a Bayesian statistical model to predict cases that automatically update when new data becomes available. There is an uncertainty range for forecast values ​​with lower and upper limits, which are not included in this list. To learn more about the data the Mayo Clinic uses to predict hot spots, click here. Beckers drew the forecast values ​​March 18 at. 14:25 CDT.


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