Two new COVID variants are spreading fast in New York region and could account for about 37% of new cases

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According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, two newly identified omicron subvariants, called BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, are spreading rapidly in the New York area and may be responsible for about 37% of new cases. Crunched by NBC News.

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The two forms accounted for 11.5% and 8% of new cases, respectively, in the week ending October 15, up from 4.1% and 1.9% two weeks ago. The New York region includes New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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Combined, they accounted for 11.4% of the total US cases in a single week. Prior to last Friday’s data release, they were included in the BA.5 variant data, as the numbers were too small to be excluded. BQ.1 was first identified by researchers in early September and has been found in the UK and Germany, among other locations. CDC is updating the number every Friday.

“When you get variants like that, you see what their rate of increase is as a relative proportion of the variants, and it’s a very difficult doubling time,” said Anthony Fauci, chief medical officer to President Joe Biden. consultant, said in an interview. Earlier this week CBS News.

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The news comes as experts fear another wave of cases during the winter months as cold weather forces people indoors and gather for family holidays.

US known cases of COVID are declining and now stand at their lowest level since mid-April, although the actual tally is likely higher based on how many people are being tested at home overall, where data is not being collected .

The daily average of new cases stood at 37,888 on Tuesday, according to A New York Times Tracker, down 15% from two weeks ago. Cases are currently rising in 10 states: Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Vermont, Kansas and Florida. Cases are also increasing in Washington, DC

The daily average of hospitalizations was as low as 6% to 25,845, although hospitalizations remain high in several northeastern states, including Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maine.

The daily average of deaths has come down by 3% to 382.

In other news, the World Health Organization said its emergency committee came away from a meeting last week with the determination that the pandemic remains a global health emergency, despite recent progress.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he agreed with the decision.

“The committee emphasized the need to strengthen surveillance and increase access to testing, treatments and vaccines for those in need, and for all countries to update their national preparedness and response plans,” Tedros told reporters at a briefing.

“While the global situation has clearly improved since the pandemic began, the virus continues to change, and many risks and uncertainties remain,” he said. “This pandemic has shocked us before and very well could happen again.”

The new bivalent vaccine could be the first step in developing annual COVID-19 shots, which could follow the same process used to update flu vaccines each year. Here’s what the process looks like, and why implementing it on COVID can be challenging. Illustration: Ryan Trefes

Coronavirus Update: MarketWatch’s daily roundup is curating and reporting on all the latest happenings every week since the coronavirus pandemic began

Other COVID-19 news you should know about:

• Reports of the death of a 16-year-old girl at a COVID quarantine center in China have sparked outrage after her family said their pleas for medical help were ignored, The Guardian reported. Videos of the girl have spread on Chinese social media in the past 24 hours. Disturbing footage, which the Guardian said it has not been able to independently verify, shows the teenager ill, struggling to breathe and a bunk bed as a quarantine center in Ruzhou, Henan province is objecting. Communist Party leaders held their party’s congress in Beijing amid anger about the country’s strict zero-COVID policy.

• Hong Kong, which is facing massive brain drain due to the pandemic and political turmoil, on Wednesday unveiled a new visa scheme aimed at attracting global talent, The Associated Press reported. The region’s chief executive officer, John Lee, said the Top Talent Pass scheme would allow those earning an annual salary of 2.5 million Hong Kong dollars (318,472) or more, as well as graduates from the world’s top universities, to find work or opportunities. will be allowed to follow. city ​​for two years.

In a rare display of defiance, two banners hoisted from a highway overpass in Beijing condemn Chinese President Xi Jinping and his strict COVID policies. The protest took place a few days before the Communist Party Congress in that city.

• The COVID pandemic catalysed a major change in the way Americans live and work, and a new analysis Marketwatch’s Chris Matthews reports that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that workers in the US are taking advantage of the broader shift toward remote work to spend more time sleeping and engaging in leisure activities. “One of the most enduring innings” [resulting from the pandemic] As has happened in the workplace, millions of employees have switched to working from home,” wrote David Damm, a former research analyst at the New York Fed, in a Tuesday blog post.

• The North Dakota Department of Health stored thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses over the past two years at incorrect temperatures or without temperature data, according to a state audit Tuesday that said some of those vaccines were administered to patients Were, AP reported. The Department of Health disputed the findings. Tim Widrick, the agency’s head of virus response, said “no non-viable vaccine” had been given to the patients. In response to Audit, the Department stated that clerical errors or other errors in documentation erroneously suggested that expired or poor dosage was given.

what do the numbers say here,

The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 625.7 million on Wednesday, while the death toll topped 6.57 million, According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University,

The US leads the world with 97 million cases and 1,065,841 deaths.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tracker shows that 226.2 million people living in the US, which is equivalent to 68.1% of the total population, have been fully vaccinated, meaning they have had their primary shot. Just 110.8 million people have had a booster, equivalent to 49% of the vaccinated population, and 25.6 million people who are eligible for a second booster have the equivalent of 39% of those who got the first booster.

About 14.8 million people have received a single dose of the updated bivalent booster that targets the original virus as well as Omicron and its subtypes.

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