Statistically, we are at the beginning of the next COVID surge. Confirmed diagnosis of COVID doubled in Los Angeles County in April 2022. The new variant, clinically identified as Omicron subvariant BA.4, has been shown to cause reinfections among people who recovered from the original Omicron variant.
The subvarient BA.4 is connected to a COVID surge in South Africa, along with the subvariant BA.5. Both BA.4 and BA.5 have mutations that can evade immune response. Los Angeles County’s Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer reported another 2,484 cases on May 4, 2022, stressing that the average daily number of new infections in the county has increased by 200% over the past month.
The new cases brought the county’s cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 2,882,279. That means almost three million Angelenos have been diagnosed with coronavirus since March of 2020.
The recent jump in cases has not yet translated into increases in hospitalizations and deaths. According to state figures, there were 248 COVID- positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, up slightly from 236 on Tuesday. How our local vaccine immunity is keeping the symptoms and fatalities in check will require more time and further research.
The County encourages booster shots, and using all precautions such as wearing masks when out in crowded areas, and keeping air flow at an optimum. Of course, if you feel ill or you know you have been exposed, testing is widely available.
Editor’s note – This article has been updated. The word ” died” in the third paragraph has been changed to ‘diagnosed.’ We apologize for the error.