The Perfect Enemy | Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Will COVID Become Endemic and What Will That Mean? - NBC Chicago
February 3, 2023

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Will COVID Become Endemic and What Will That Mean? – NBC Chicago

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Will COVID Become Endemic and What Will That Mean?  NBC Chicago

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With some health officials predicting the coronavirus will eventually become endemic, what will that mean?

As the virus continues to mutate and become even more contagious, there are some guidelines experts are urging.

Here’s what else you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Tests Positive for COVID

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has tested positive for COVID-19, the central bank announced Wednesday morning.

Powell, 69, is “experiencing mild symptoms,” according to the announcement.

Read more here.

Top Pharma CEO Says COVID Likely to Become Endemic, Urges Investment in Pandemic Preparedness

The chief executive of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis on Thursday warned the coronavirus pandemic will likely settle into an endemic phase and renewed calls for policymakers to sufficiently finance pandemic preparedness.

“If you look over the last two years, we have populations that have built up immunity, you have a virus that’s continuing to make shifts, but I think what we’re going to settle into is more of an endemic environment with respect to coronaviruses and the COVID virus specifically,” Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Read more here.

5 Illinois Counties Now at ‘High’ Community COVID Level as IDPH Reports Undercount

Illinois now has two additional counties reporting what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to as having a “high” community spread of COVID after a data delay led to an undercount last week, the state’s health department said in a press release Tuesday.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported only three counties in the state — Hancock in Western Illinois, along with Marion and Washington in Southern Illinois — had fallen into the CDC’s “high” category. However, on Tuesday, the state’s health department sent out an update, saying it had undercounted.

Read more here.

‘Kraken’ COVID Variant, XBB.1.5 Climbing in Midwest, Experts Say More Cases Expected

The new and highly contagious COVID variant dubbed XBB.1.5 roughly doubled its prevalence in the Midwest over the last week and experts say that growth will likely continue in the weeks ahead.

The variant now makes up 43% of cases in the U.S. and more than 14% of cases in the Midwest, climbing in both metrics from 30.4% and roughly 7% the week prior, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more here.

Experts Prepare for New COVID Variant XBB.1.5 to Rise in Chicago Area

With a new, highly contagious COVID variant known as XBB.1.5 quickly rising in the U.S., particularly in the East Coast, what will that mean for the Chicago area?

The new and highly contagious COVID variant known as XBB.1.5, or informally as the “kraken” variant, quickly rose to dominance in the Northeast, but experts in the Chicago area are bracing for a similar situation to unfold here soon.

The variant has already been detected in Chicago, according to area health officials.

“We’ve seen a few XBB.1.5. in Chicago,” Hannah Barbian, a virologist who tracks COVID variants with Rush University Medical Center, told NBC Chicago.

Read more here.

XBB.1.5, ‘Kraken’: Why is New COVID Variant So Contagious? What to Know as It Rises in Midwest

The new COVID variant XBB.1.5, also known unofficially as the “kraken” variant, continued to rise in the Midwest, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but what makes the new variant so contagious and are experts expecting a surge?

Read more here.

Are Symptoms of the ‘Kraken’ Variant Different From Other COVID Strains? Here’s What Doctors Say

A highly contagious “recombinant” variant composed of two different BA.2 strains, the “kraken” variant has quickly become the dominant form of COVID in the U.S. and is continuing to spread nationwide.

Also known as XBB.1.5, the variant quickly rose to prominence as experts say it is more contagious than many of its predecessors.

Read more here.