Health

Almost half of US reports rising COVID infections, with Delta variant responsible for 26% of cases

At least half of the United States is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases as the highly transmissible Indian ‘Delta’ variant continues to spread, according to a new analysis of Johns Hopkins University data by USA Today.

Health officials mainly in states in the South and West have been reporting increases in infections and hospitalizations over the last two weeks.

Alaska and South Carolina have seen cases more than double in the last two weeks while cases in Arkansas have increased by more than 50 percent. 

In Missouri, infections are up 20 percent from 14 days ago while the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients jumped by about 30 percent over Fourth of July weekend in one area, leading to a temporary shortage of ventilators. 

All five states have among the lowest vaccination rates in America – fully vaccinating less than 44 percent of their total populations – which is below the national average. 

Health experts say the Delta variant is behind the surge, making up more than 26 percent of cases in the U.S. and  three-quarters of all new infections in some states.   

It comes as President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he is calling for people to go door-to-door to spread the word about COVID vaccines after he fell short of his July 4 vaccination targets of 70 percent of adults with at least one dose.

Half of US states have been seeing increases in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, a new USA Today analysis of Johns Hopkins data finds

Health experts blame the Indian ‘Delta’ variant spreading in areas with low vaccination coverage as reports show it makes up as much as 77% of cases in some states

Many states where COVID-19 cases are rising have fully vaccinated less than 44% of their populations – which is below the national average

The rates of low vaccinations are helping give rise to the Delta variant. 

Known as B.1.617.2, the Delta variant has been labeled as a ‘double mutant’ by India’s Health Ministry because it carries two mutations: L452R and E484Q.

L452R is the same mutation seen with the California homegrown variant and E484Q is similar to the mutation seen in the Brazilian and South African variants.

Both of the mutations occur on key parts of the virus that allows it to enter and infect human cells. 

It is believe to be responsible for the rise in several states, including Arkansas.

Arkansas has seen coronavirus cases surge by 52% from an average of 286 cases per day to 435 per day over the last two weeks

Arkansas is one of the states to see cases surge with a 52 percent rise from an average of 286 cases per day to 435 per day over the last two weeks, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data. 

The Natural State has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, having fully vaccinated just 35 percent of its population, according to CDC data.

Gov Asa Hutchinson said more than 90 percent of all new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths since January have been in unvaccinated residents and urged more people to get the shot.

‘We now have over 1 million Arkansans fully vaccinated,’ Hutchinson wrote on Twitter on Monday. 

‘This is a milestone, but we need to pick up the pace before school starts this fall. This could be a tough week in new cases and hospitalizations, so get the shot now.’     

The Delta variant is also to be behind the outbreak in Missouri, which has seen cases rapidly spike.  

New infections in Missouri have risen by 20% from 760 per day to 915 daily over the past 14 days

The seven-day average of new infections has risen from 760 per day to 915 in the last two weeks, an increase of 20 percent, the DailyMail.com analysis found. 

Meanwhile, the seven-day positivity rate rose to 10.5 percent, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS).

That is the highest figure seen since January 18, but not as high as the record 23.1 percent set in November, reported KMBC.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients jumped by nearly 27 percent over the Fourth of July weekend in a hard-hit area of Missouri where immunization rates are low, leading to a temporary ventilator shortfall and a public call for help from respiratory therapists.

Mercy Springfield in Springfield  ran out of ventilators for its patients over the Fourth of July weekend as the area, right in the middle of a COVID-19 hot spot, deals with a rise in cases. 

New day, new record. Spent the night looking for ventilators because we ran out. 47 patients on vents. A lot of those are COVID but not all,’ tweeted Erik Frederick, Chief Administrative Officer at Mercy Springfield. 

Officials blame the spread of the Delta variant among unvaccinated segments of the population. Most counties have seen fewer than 40 percent of residents receive at least one dose, and one county is as low as 13 percent. 

Steve Edwards, CEO of Cox Health, another hospital in Springfield, tweeted: ‘If you make terribly derogatory comments about vaccines and you don’t have public health expertise, you may be responsible for someone’s death. Shut up.’ 

Over the last two weeks, there has been a 147 percent rise from 95 per day to 235 in the last two weeks, the DailyMail.com analysis found

In South Carolina, cases of the virus had been declining since March, only to begin spiking again.

Over the last two weeks, there has been a 147 percent rise from 95 per day to 235 in the last two weeks, the DailyMail.com analysis found.

Additionally, the percentage of positive tests rose from 2.6 percent this week compared with 2.16 percent last week, reported the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.

‘With the Delta variant contributing to more and more cases worldwide we need to be encouraging all of our unvaccinated friends and families to get their shots now,’ Dr Jonathan Knoche, public health medical consultant, told WBTW.  

Daily Mail Online

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