Well, the panic will subside in a week, I predict, although it does seem an increasing proportion of the population is done caring in any event. I detect potential signals that cases are or have peaked in Minnesota, as the percent change in WOW numbers appears to be declining. But given the haphazard nature of DOH processing and various data dumps, hard to have a high level of confidence in that guess. And it is possible that a lot of contacts over the holidays is what was really responsible for the surge, it seems pretty fast and brief in time and highly coincident with holiday breaks.
There was a DOH briefing last week in regard to the Omicron surge. I am slow to write these up because it is just painful. DOH stated the obvious, there are more cases than they can identify and they are slow in processing right now. 90% of cases were said to be Omicron. DOH itself is having an outbreak and you can assume all those people are vaxed and boosted. They are concerned about a hospital surge just from the sheer number of Omicron cases even though it appears to have a lower rate of hospitalization. But in a question they refused to say how many hospitalizations are actually for treatment of CV versus incidental. These people are the worst at just being interested in the message. And the message is the same stupid, futile things that have failed all along–more and more testing, more and more isolation, wear masks, stay home, test some more, mask some more. Blah, blah, blah. Nobody is or should listen to any advice from the this group. They lied again about pediatric hospitalizations, I spent a whole post debunking that bullshit. So instead of welcoming Omicron as the harbinger of endemicity, we got the usual terror campaign about overrun hospitals and the need to stay in the basement.
And here is a hilarious note from today’s situation report. Among the deaths reported was one from a year ago–January 2021. How are you still attributing deaths from a year ago to CV-19, how can it possibly take that long?
First up, a meta-review of research on household transmission and vax status. The secondary attack rate was higher for Alpha than Delta, so all that nonsense about how much more transmissible Delta was, may not have been accurate. Vaccines appeared to lessen the risk both of transmitting to someone else in the household and being transmitted to. (Medrxiv Paper)
Here is a meta-review of vaccine use in children and adolescents which completely whitewashes legitimate safety concerns, particularly compared to the benefits in children at low-risk from CV-19, and which ignores the very small numbers used for trials compared to the numbers used for adults, where CV-19 risk is much higher. All except one of the researchers were from Iran and I don’t believe the disclaimer that they had no conflicts. (Medrxiv Paper)
A study from the Kaiser system showing Omicron cases were much milder than Delta ones, far less risk of hospitalization and of ICU use. Somewhat buried is that prior infection appears more protective than vaccination, particularly against Delta. But vaccination was still associated with reduced infection and hospitalization even among Omicron cases. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study was done in regard to reinfections in the pre-vaccine phase of the epidemic. Protection against reinfection was very high, and against symptomatic infection, even higher, at 77% lower risk compared to those without a prior infection. (Medrxiv Paper)
Research from Japan finds that over 50% of adults without a prior confirmed infection had antibodies in their saliva that reacted against CV-19. (Medrxiv Paper)