The Alabama Department of Public Health announced on Monday that cases of COVID-19 are once again on the rise across the United States. There is a new Omicron subvariant labeled BA.5 responsible for nearly 65% of those cases, according to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Public health officials warn that the percentage may actually be higher, as this number does not account for the widespread use of home tests, which are usually not reported.
Preliminary data suggests that the BA.5 subvariant is more infectious than previous subvariants. It also appears to cause milder sickness, although hospital numbers and deaths due to COVID-19 have increased over the last several weeks.
According to ADPH, 11,475 persons in Alabama have tested positive for the SAR-CoV-2 strain of the coronavirus in the last week alone.
The ADPH says that persons infected with the BA.5 subvariant are experiencing many of the cold and flu-like symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, including fever, sore throat, runny nose, night sweats, lingering cough, and fatigue. Some patients are also reporting a new loss of taste and smell.
The ADPH reports that 3,081 Alabamians have died of COVID-19 in 2022 alone for a grand total of 19,828 deaths from the global pandemic. ADPH urges Alabamians to continue practicing appropriate mitigation and prevention strategies including vaccination, wearing a well-fitting mask and social distancing.
Some doctors believe that the COVID-19 vaccine is ineffective and does more harm through side effects than it helps in controlling the spread of COVID.
Retired Alabama National Guard Col. Dr. Stewart Tankersley told 1819 News, “The evidence is overwhelming that they should not take the vaccine,” Tankersley said. “The risk [from COVID-19] to fit people [in] that age group is almost nonexistent. I don’t recommend this vaccine for anybody.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has headed the National Institute for Health for decades, recently contracted COVID-19 even though he has been vaccinated and received the booster shot. When asked about it by Fox News’ Neal Cavuto, Fauci admitted that the vaccine does not “protect overly well against infection.”
“One of the things that's clear from the data [is] that even though vaccines - because of the high degree of transmissibility of this virus - don't protect overly well, as it were, against infection, they protect quite well against severe disease leading to hospitalization and death,” Fauci said. “And I believe that's the reason, Neil, why at my age, being vaccinated and boosted, even though it didn't protect me against infection, I feel confident that it made a major role in protecting me from progressing to severe disease. And that's very likely why I had a relatively mild course. So my message to people who seem confused because people who are vaccinated get infected - the answer is if you weren't vaccinated, the likelihood [is] you would have had [a] more severe course than you did have when you were vaccinated.”
Fauci announced on Monday that he would retire before the end of President Joseph R. Biden’s term in office.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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