Dangerous new COVID variant could overwhelm hospitals, weaken immunity

Dangerous new COVID variant could overwhelm hospitals, weaken immunity

January 10, 20241 min read

Two new studies have found that the new COVID variant BA.2.86 could lead to more severe diseases than other Omicron variants. Jennifer Horney, one of the leading experts on the COVID-19 pandemic, can discuss the new variant and its potential impact on the healthcare system.

Horney, professor and founding director of the University of Delaware's epidemiology program, made the following points:

  • There are spikes now in all respiratory infections across the U.S. High rates of COVID-19 and seasonal infuenza especially among children and older adults could stress healthcare systems.

  • New subvariants of COVID-19 could be severe. High hospitalization rates are occurring in countries with far higher vaccination rates in the US, perhaps due to reduced immunity.

  • We need to continue to track new variants and focus on developing updated vaccines. Continued mutations will mean less protection from infection among those who have prior infections and vaccinations.

To set up an interview, visit Horney's profile and click on the contact button.

Connect with:
  • Jennifer Horney
    Jennifer Horney Professor and Director, Epidemiology

    Jennifer Horney's research focuses on the health impacts of disasters and public health emergencies including climate change.

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