In Peter Graven’s most recent report, he said that fewer people with COVID-19 are being hospitalized and that tests for signs of the virus in wastewater show less of it.
Still, an economist at Oregon Health & Science University who has been making COVID-19 predictions since the beginning of the pandemic said that there will soon be a new wave of COVID patients being hospitalized in Oregon, which will peak in late June.
It will be caused by the growth of a new variant called “Arcturus,” which first became popular in India. It is a subtype of Omicron, a more well-known cousin that took over after being found for the first time in late 2021.
Acturus, also called XBB.1.16, is thought to be the COVID type that can spread the most. A spokeswoman for the Oregon Health Authority told The Lund Report that “it’s probably in Oregon,” even though state tests haven’t found it yet.
COVID affects different people in different ways, and personal evidence suggests that the same person can feel worse at different times. People with weak immune systems are especially at risk. On a population level, immunity has grown, and the number of cases that require hospitalization has not yet hit its peak in the summer of 2021 when the Delta variant will be at its worst.
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Studies have shown, however, that a condition called long COVID affects a large number of people and may have long-term effects on the brain and blood vessels, such as vascular disease, on the lungs, and on other systems. It can also make you more likely to get diabetes.
Graven’s report says that with Arcturus, the number of people with COVID who are hospitalized statewide will hit a peak of about 500. This is a level that hasn’t been seen since February 2022.
Part of the number of hospitalizations will depend on how common the sickness is in the population. Graven wrote that COVID is not likely to be the main reason someone is in the hospital most of the time.
Some news stories have said that Arcturus is linked to conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.”
People who think of COVID-19 as a yearly surge, like the flu, might be surprised by the idea of a June wave.
Graven said that new versions of a virus tend to cause waves. This, along with the fact that people’s vaccine levels are always changing, makes them vulnerable to a virus to which they haven’t been exposed or vaccinated in a while.
“We don’t have any proof that it will be seasonal yet. “If you look at the waves that have happened so far, they have happened at different times of the year and have been mostly caused by which variant is present,” he said.
Graven’s main job is to identify hospital capacity problems. He said that another respiratory virus, RSV, was a bigger problem than COVID over the past year because children with serious symptoms overwhelmed pediatric units. He also said that the flu was worse than COVID.
He thinks that because kids are getting healthier, the RSV season will be less bad next year. The success of COVID will depend on what new versions bring.
Graven said that COVID is everywhere, even though most people think it’s gone. But most people have a level of protection against the variants that are going around because they have had it before or because they have been vaccinated.
This makes the symptoms mild for most people. His model says that 84 percent of Oregonians have been affected, even if they don’t know it, and that “the average person’s had it over two times.”