Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
The World Health Organization has reported 580 million cumulative COVID cases of the 7.8 billion people on earth. Considering this is likely one-fourth of the true number, then about one-third of the world’s population has been infected. This is very similar to the number of people infected in the 1918 Flu Pandemic. The comparison on deaths is better, with 6.4 million deaths worldwide from COVID and 50 million in 1918.
In this week’s video, I review the COVID numbers for the nation, state and Houston area. Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 represent 94 percent of the cases. We haven’t had a new variant since the sub-variant BA.5 but it has taken over. Harris County remains at high risk, so keep your masks at the ready for indoor places. As wastewater surveillance shows the viral load is decreasing, we should be getting to a point where we can relax.
Other items covered in the video are a study on the impact of vaccine mandates by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a study about when to get a fourth vaccine dose, a commentary on the need for Operation Nasal Vaccine, an update on the monkeypox outbreak and the new polio concerns in New York. Next week I will talk about changes in CDC recommendations.
I hope you have a great weekend. Stay safe!
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO