Speaking to the Senate Health Committee earlier this week, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield said preliminary results of the agency’s first round study show that more than 90% of the population are susceptible.
The US continues to lead the world in deaths and infections, and now experts are warning that the spread of the virus could get significantly worse with schools now open and the upcoming flu season.
At least 22 states – mostly in the US heartland and the Midwest – are reporting an increase in new Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week. Nationwide, the US has an average of more than 43,000 new cases per day ̵
And, according to Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious disease expert, stopped the drop in deaths in late August.
“The bottom line is it doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on politically,” Marrazzo said during a briefing for the Infectious Diseases Society of America on Wednesday. “The numbers are the numbers. You can’t argue with them. And they’re not going in the right direction.”
20% of Covid-19 cases in the summer were young people
The warnings from experts have stayed the same for months: wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance, and avoid crowded places.
A new report from the CDC now shows people’s ages 20 to 29 made up more than 20% of all confirmed Covid-19 cases between June and August.
In June, the southern states saw an increase in positive tests in 20- to 39-year-olds, just over eight days before an increase was reported in those over 60 – suggesting younger adults were the virus’s spreading community have driven forward.
The CDC found that younger people are more likely to work on the front lines, which leaves them exposed, and that they may be less aware of social distancing guidelines. And because younger groups are more likely to have milder symptoms or show no symptoms at all, they could possibly have spread the virus without ever knowing.
Covid-19 cases are increasing in children
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, more than 587,000 children in the United States have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.
The organizations found that 74,553 cases of children were reported between September 3 and 17 – a 15% increase in this group over two weeks, according to their weekly pediatric report.
Cases listed by age are posted on Department of Health websites in 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam, but only a subset of states report hospitalizations and mortality by age, the groups said. The AAP called for more detailed reporting from states.
“At present, it appears that serious illnesses due to Covid-19 are rare in children,” the report said. “However, states should continue to provide detailed reports of Covid-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age and race / ethnicity so that the effects of Covid-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.”
Further phase 3 vaccine trials could begin
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, says a “large part” of the US will not be vaccinated against Covid-19 this year.
“We won’t have all the doses available, for example by the end of December, they will be introduced as the months go by,” said Fauci. “By maybe the third or fourth month of 2021, you have doses for everyone,” he said.
Those who will be prioritized for the vaccine will likely be health care providers, people with underlying diseases, and populations at risk, he said.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Lauren Mascarenhas, Shelby Lin Erdman, Jen Christensen and Andrea Diaz contributed to this report.