Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
Throughout the world, the COVID situation is much better, though China is facing its largest flare-up of COVID cases in a month and there are hot spots in other countries. The reality is that in countries with low vaccination rates, we will continue to see mutations of the virus. Vaccination is key. We need to continue to help these countries that are struggling to get their populations vaccinated.
In the United States, hospitalizations and known cases have both been flat in recent weeks but test positivity is climbing, suggesting that increases could come soon. Conditions are stable in most states, but there are some concerning trends in the Southwest.
Locally, the numbers are good. Harris County has a low transmission rate, but the wastewater viral load is increasing. That could be an early indicator of more cases in the near future.
In this week’s video, I take a look at the path of the virus and its variants. In addition to the variants that develop in the U.S., new variants that emerge in Europe arrive in the Northeastern United States and then spread across the country from there. The video includes a chart of the estimated COVID variant proportions in a number of countries. New science this week includes a study on the mechanism for complications from severe COVID-19 and another look at who is most likely to be diagnosed with Long COVID.
Have a great weekend!
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO