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Coronavirus update: Cases are higher but deaths aren’t

The next vaccine may go up your nose

COVID-19 germ concept
Photo (c) artur carvalho - Getty Images
COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 81,877,929 (81,858,744)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 997,539 (997,403)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 517,397,826 (517,119,260)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,251,585 (6,250,875)‌

Cases higher, deaths flat from one year ago

In May 2021, the three COVID-19 vaccines were rolling out to the general population. Most older Americans had gotten the jab, and now younger adults were rolling up their sleeves. Cases and deaths were declining.

A one-year comparison shows that new cases of COVID-19 are sharply higher, but deaths from the virus are about the same. Analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the seven-day average of new cases is 71,742 now, compared to 42,015 on May 8, 2021. The seven-day average of deaths is exactly the same – 607.

Over the weekend, the White House warned that the U.S. might see 100 million COVID19 infections this fall and winter. The warning was part of an appeal to Congress for more COVID-19 funding.

The next vaccine may go up your nose

Variants and subvariants of the coronavirus have made the early vaccines less effective at blocking infection, even though they can prevent serious illness. Now scientists believe changing the location of the vaccinations might improve effectiveness.

Instead of shots in the arm, the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines may be sprayed in the nose. Scientists say eight such vaccines are currently in clinical trials.

The reasoning is simple. Scientists say it makes more sense to deliver the vaccine to the point where the infection takes place. They also say the vaccine could be administered at home, making it easier to quickly innoculate the population.

Interferon is effective against COVID-19, scientists say

In the last two years, there have been vaccines and new therapeutic drugs to combat the pandemic. Some scientists are now pointing to interferon, part of the body’s natural defense against infection, as a potential weapon.

Scientists in Brazil who conducted a trial of an interferon-based drug are reporting a “strikingly positive result.” Of more than 1,900 high-risk people who received a single shot within seven days of developing symptoms, severe symptoms declined by 50%.

Even better, the pharmaceutical company that developed the drug said it appeared to be effective against all variants, including the Omicron variant.

Around the nation

  • California: New cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across the state, but especially in the San Francisco Bay area. The California Department of Public Health’s latest report shows that the statewide daily case rate for COVID-19 at 14 per 100,000 residents. That’s a 27% increase in the past week and an increase of 71% in the past two weeks.

  • Connecticut: State health officials say the most recent COVID-19 tracking numbers have become so skewed that they’re almost meaningless. They point to a test positivity rate of more than 11%, which suggests a surge. At the same time, the state is logging only 900 new cases a day on average.

  • Maine: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maine now has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the nation. State health officials report that the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus grew to 169 on Wednesday, the highest number in Maine in months.

  • New Mexico: Hospital cases of the coronavirus continue to fall in New Mexico. State health officials report that the number of logged COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Mexico dropped significantly at the end of last week in spite of a slight increase in case counts.

  • Hawaii: It’s prom season, and in many places that means COVID-19 Season. Officials at the Hawaii Department of Health have linked two recent outbreaks involving teenagers with two Oahu high school proms. Both schools required all attendees to be vaccinated.

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