COVID cases climb in Oregon
While COVID-19 community transmission across Oregon was relatively stable this past fall, over the last two weeks the percent of test positivity rose to 10.4%, per data from Oregon Health Authority — a 15% rise from one month ago.
- However, health officials predict we haven't hit the peak for the season just yet.
Driving the news: Wastewater data and hospitalizations across the country have shown a big uptick in COVID, but Oregon has not seen a similar spike, which "probably means there's more to come," Peter Graven, who tracks respiratory illnesses at Oregon Health & Science University, tells Axios.
- The state is also seeing a subtle rise in flu and RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, Graven added, potentially indicating we're nearing the apex of this year's virus season.
Zoom in: The fast-spreading COVID-19 variant known as JN.1 is now the most prevalent in the U.S. — it's much more infectious than earlier omicron strains, easily squeezing past any immunity a person may have previously had, Graven said.
- "Despite quite a few more people getting it, and certainly more hospitalizations, it's not going to have the kind of impact that we had during the delta wave," he added.
The big picture: About half of states were reporting "very high" flu activity as of Jan. 12, according to the latest CDC data released Friday.
- Across the globe, COVID, fueled by holiday gatherings, caused nearly 10,000 deaths in December, according to the World Health Organization.
Of note: For the majority of healthy individuals, the increase in COVID infections has not corresponded with a similar surge in cases requiring serious medical attention, the CDC notes.
Be smart: It's not too late to get a flu or COVID vaccine to protect yourself against serious illness and complications.
- Plus: RSV vaccines for adults ages 60 and older, and pregnant people, are available for the first time. A pregnant woman can pass antibodies to a fetus during the third trimester.
- Every household in the U.S. can also order eight free at-home COVID tests from the federal government.
Yes, but: Though vaccination lowers the risk of developing long COVID symptoms, it doesn't eliminate it — and the COVID treatment Paxlovid does not reduce the risk of long COVID symptoms either, a recent study found.
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