Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
The United States is averaging about 110,000 new COVID cases each day, a 30 percent increase over the past two weeks. Those numbers likely are underestimated because of the number of people using home tests, but the total is still much lower than the Omicron surge. About 25,000 people are hospitalized with COVID nationwide, 11 percent in ICUs. During the January Omicron surge, 150,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 with 17 percent in ICUs.
The CDC is now following the wastewater surveillance studies, and the hot spots appear to be Illinois, Wisconsin, parts of California, Oregon and Colorado. The Houston wastewater surveillance indicates the area inside the loop is mostly down and outside the loop, the viral load is increasing.
On the vaccine front, the CDC has recommended a COVID booster for children 5-11 and Pfizer has submitted its application for authorization of a coronavirus vaccine for children under 5 years old. The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee will meet on June 15 to review the request. In addition, the FDA commissioner has said the agency will act “as quickly as possible” on Moderna’s application for approval of a vaccine for children under 5.
In this week’s video, I take a look at a publication about the ability of scent dogs to detect COVID. This was at Lily’s request and it is an interesting read.
Also included is an overview of monkeypox, a viral disease with symptoms similar to smallpox but clinically less severe. The CDC has identified 15 monkeypox cases in eight states. The WHO has identified 257 confirmed monkeypox cases and another 120 suspected cases in 23 nations where the virus in not endemic. I am not concerned that monkeypox will become a global pandemic.
I hope you have a great weekend. Stay safe.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO