Covid Summer 1 Gty Jm

KP.2 currently accounts for approximately 28.2% of cases in the US, according to CDC data.

For the past few months, JN.1 has been the predominant variant of Covid-19 in the United States, accounting for the majority of cases. A new variant, however, has been delivered and could lead to an increase in issues this summer.

Omicron’s alternative branch, KP.2, currently accounts for approximately 28.2% of all COVID cases, after accounting for 1.4% of cases in mid-March. Information from the Centers for Disease and Prevention.

Over the past four years, the United States has seen summer waves of COVID and this summer may see an increase in cases, but not as severe as in past seasons.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), told ABC: “We’ve had four consecutive spikes of COVID in the winter over the past four years.” News. “We expect an increase this winter as well, but maybe not as big and maybe not as deep as winter.”

Chin-hong refers to the surge as a “swell” rather than a “tide” or “tide.”

“It’s like when you’re on the beach and you’re watching the swell come in,” he explained. “It’s not like a tsunami, it’s not like a big wave, it’s more like a small swell. But the swell means some people can get sick.”

Previous data It turns out that KP.2 has more mutations than JN.1 in the spike protein, which the virus uses to attach to and infect cells, which may make KP.2 more infectious.

“The ability of the virus to evolve is expected and something we’ve prepared for the ongoing public health response,” said Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist and chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News anchor. “Given the current situation with Covid-19, a slight improvement in cases can be expected this winter, making continued surveillance and vaccination efforts even more important.”

Experts say KP.2 — which some scientists have nicknamed “FliRT” on social media but is not the official name used by the CDC or the World Health Organization — causes more severe illness or is more lethal than death. Primary variables.

While more studies are needed to determine whether KP.2 is better at evading current vaccines than other variants, Chin-Hong said his experience at UCSF Hospital over the past few weeks seems to indicate that vaccines continue to provide good protection.

One common feature among UCSF hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 is that none of them have received the updated COVID vaccine released in the fall of 2023, he said.

“If you haven’t, go ahead and get it,” Chin-hong said.

He added that it is especially important to vaccinate people aged 65 and older who are at risk of serious diseases.

In America, the number of Covid hospitals is not increasing, which is a big milestone for the country.

At the end of April, the latest week for which data is available, the US had 5,615 weekly Covid-19 hospitalizations. By comparison, there were more than 150,000 weekly intakes at the peak of the Omicron variant, which was distributed in early 2022.

Experts say the United States is in a much better position to fight Covid than when the pandemic began, and the new differences are a reminder to be vigilant, but not to panic.

“We have to remember that this virus is now a respiratory disease that we get every year, like the flu, and like the flu, we try to stay ahead of the game to prepare for any possible surgery or to understand how the vaccines are relevant,” Brownstein said. “It’s all about bread and butter public health monitoring. It’s important to stay up-to-date on vaccines and be vigilant and stay home when you’re sick.”