CDC recommends that you simply put on higher masks if Omicron spreads
Jan. 12, 2022 – The CDC is making ready to replace its COVID-19 masks suggestions to focus on the usage of N95 and KN95 masks, that are higher at filtering the virus, director Rochelle Walensky, MD, stated Wednesday.
“We’re making ready to replace the data on our masks web site to finest mirror the choices accessible to individuals and the completely different ranges of safety provided by completely different masks, and we wish Individuals to have one of the best, most modern info on a Present collection of a mask. “Can be best for you,” she stated at a press convention on the White Home.
Whereas the upper high quality masks provide higher safety, they are often uncomfortable to put on, costly, and more durable to seek. So Walensky added a vital caveat.
“Any masks is healthier than no masks, and we encourage all individuals to put on well-fitting masks to guard themselves and stop the unfold of COVID-19. That advice will not change, ” she stated.
“Most significantly, one of the best masks you put on is the one you’ll put on and that you could put on all day and tolerate in public indoor areas.”
In the meantime, the World Well being Group targeted extra on vaccines.
WHO officers on Wednesday careworn that distributing vaccines worldwide is prime precedence intending to defeat the extremely contagious variant of Omicron, besides different variants that will develop.
The WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition – a gaggle of consultants that assess the efficiency of COVID-19 vaccines in opposition to Omicron and different rising variants – says there’s a “pressing want” for wider entry to vaccines, collectively with reviewing and updating present vaccines as wanted to make sure safety.
The WHO additionally denied the concept COVID-19 might develop into endemic in a largely vaccinated nation whereas leaving the rest of the world unprotected.
“It’s as much as us how this pandemic performs out,” stated Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, WHO technical director for COVID-19 response, at a press convention.
The WHO goals to vaccinate 70% of the inhabitants of every nation by the center of the 12 months.
In keeping with WHO Director Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, as of now 90 international locations haven’t but achieved vaccination charges of 40%, and 36 of these international locations have lower than 10% of their inhabitants vaccinated.
A staggering 85% of the African inhabitants haven’t got a primary dose.
However, progress is being made, stated Ghebreyesus on the assembly.
The WHO stated over 15 million COVID-19 circumstances have been reported final week – most ever in a single week – and that is doubtless an underestimate.
The variant of Omicron, which was first recognized in South Africa 2 months in the past and may now be discovered on all seven continents, is changing Delta “rapidly in nearly all international locations,” stated Ghebreyesus.
Again on the White Home in Washington, Walensky stated the day-by-day common COVID-19 case quantity within the US this week was 751,000, up 47% from the final week. The typical day-by-day hospitalization for that week is nineteen,800, a rise of 33%. The variety of deaths has elevated by 40% to achieve 1,600 a day.
She additionally reported new knowledge to help different analyses exhibiting that Omicron might trigger much less critical sickness. Kaiser Permanente Southern California printed a examine Tuesday exhibiting that Omicron was linked to a 53% discount in hospital admissions, a 74% discount in intensive care unit admissions, and a 91% decrease in danger of dying when in comparison with Delta infections.
Within the examination, no affected person with Omicron required mechanical airflow. The pressure now accounts for 98% of circumstances nationwide.
Nonetheless, Walensky warned that the illness’s lesser severity will not offset the sheer variety of circumstances that proceed to overwhelm hospital techniques.
“Whereas we’re seeing proof that Omicron is much less extreme than Delta and that these contaminated are much less prone to be hospitalized, it is vital to notice that Omicron remains to be rather more transmissible than Delta,” she stated. “The sudden improve in circumstances from Omicron is resulting in unprecedented day by day case numbers, sickness, absenteeism and stress on our healthcare system.”