The Perfect Enemy | ‘COVID has evolved now to be so contagious’ Omicron subvariant causing cases to spike in NC
August 10, 2022

‘COVID has evolved now to be so contagious’ Omicron subvariant causing cases to spike in NC

‘COVID has evolved now to be so contagious’ Omicron subvariant causing cases to spike in NC  WRAL NewsView Full Coverage on Google News

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— The omicron subvariant BA.5 is causing causes to spike — quickly. Many of those cases are still underreported with people testing at home. But the number of coronavirus particles in North Carolina’s wastewater showed a 55 percent increase in the past week, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

In response to a coronavirus surge, many people will give one of two answers in response.

“I’m not worried one bit,” said Tim Coster.

“I’m wearing a mask for a reason,” countered Natty Sadler. “I think the surge is already here.”

Data from DHHS shows hospitalizations from the virus are also on the rise.

“I was already predicting after July 4 it was going to go up because so many people are traveling and visiting,” said Rachel Roper, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at East Carolina University.

Roper said people who are vaccinated and boosted have the highest protection. Those who are not vaccinated have a higher risk of hospitalization and death and those who are immunocompromised should be extremely careful when around large crowds.

“COVID has evolved now to be so contagious and it has mutated away from the vaccine protection,” said Roper.

Some, like Sadler, said they’re already extra precautions to keep coronavirus away from their home.

“[I’m] working from home, eating outside,” said Saddler. “I haven’t really changed my behavior since the pandemic started.”

WakeMed infection prevention specialist Jessica Dixon said the BA.5 subvariant is the most contagious yet, and it’s time to mask up no matter your vaccination status.

“If you’re in a crowded place, you really should consider masking. If you’re unvaccinated, you should consider masking no matter where you go,” she said.

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Health experts said many people are testing at home and that in turn means many cases are going unreported. Roper said the test is probably accurate for those who receive a positive result. She recommends testing twice if the first test is negative.

Overall, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that North Carolina has a 20% case positivity rate with dozens of the state’s counties under a high risk for community transmission.