Virus Expert Issues This “Surge” Warning — Eat This Not That

COVID cases are rising again, as Delta remains a major threat in America—and a new variant, Omicron, remains an unknown quantity. With your safety in mind, virus expert Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, appeared on Anderson Cooper to discuss the rise in cases—and issue a warning.  Read on for 5 life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
One nurse looking at the medical ventilator screen.

“Absolutely. It’s gonna get worse,” said Osterholm about the upcoming holidays. “We have a very interesting thing happening in this country, much like we see around the world. If you look at India, India had a major surge last April, May that went very high and then came down relatively quickly back to baseline. That’s what we saw in the South this past summer—the Southern Sunbelt states very high up, quickly down, but then you saw a situation in the United Kingdom where the surge started in July, went up high, came down a little bit and then went back up and has stayed there. That’s exactly what we’re seeing right now in the Northern tier of states, if you actually draw lines through the Great Plains across Minnesota, Wisconsin, right now across all the way to the Northeast, those are states that are actually seeing these prolonged surges. What’s also now emerging is if you follow the Southern border of the Great Lake states and start looking out, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, you’re seeing now the emergence of a new surge, which is kind of merging with this existing surge. And I think this really spells real troubles for the country.”

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Two healthcare workers talking at the UCI

“60% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, only 25% of received a booster dose. How concerning is that? And do you think the definition of fully vaccinated needs to change to include a booster?” asked Cooper. “Well, let me just answer the last question first. I think absolutely. We should be talking about three doses of the mRNA vaccines to be fully vaccinated, two doses for the J&J vaccine. You know, when we think in this country, we’ve done a pretty good job getting people vaccinated. And in fact, we look at the state of Vermont that has the highest level of vaccination in the highest 70 low, 80% level. And yet last week they had the highest number of hospitalizations that they’ve had since the beginning of the pandemic—still largely led by unvaccinated individuals. If we look at Europe—right now, Western Europe is really under siege with Delta and they have a number of countries there that have vaccine levels well into the 80% level, much higher than ours. So I think it shouldn’t be a surprise that what we’re seeing right now here is this ever growing situation with Delta. And I can only say that if you look at the last several weeks…case numbers are continuing to increase substantially. And I see that the situation unfolding for at least the next 6 to 10 weeks.”

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Doctor with blood sample of Covid-19 Omicron B.1.1.529 Variant and general data of covid-19 Coronavirus Mutations.

“Well, at this point, we have a number of different  situations unfolding—both the ever increasing number of cases with Delta. And then on top of that, now, as we all know, we have this new variant, the Omicron variant, which is surely much, much more transmissible even than Delta, but we may be able to actually skirt a disaster in the sense that it may actually produce much less serious illness across the board. That’s still to be determined, but so these are both playing out against each other right now, as we watch that unfold.”

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The female doctor syringe injection to the young patient put on a mask in the hospital

Rising cases are “largely among the unvaccinated, but…we only have 25% of those who are eligible for a booster right now to get that—you know, I’ve never liked the term booster, I’ve set all along and, and shared with you, the fact that we really should have thought of these as three prime vaccines to begin with, just like we do other vaccine series or two prime for the J&J you really do need that extra shot, and it surely can give you a big boost in protection. So that’s part of the challenge right now is we’re seeing more and more breakthrough infections, fortunately, on a whole, they’re not nearly as severe. If you’re in intensive care unit, you still have about a 15 times higher risk of being there if you’re not vaccinated than if you are vaccinated “

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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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