In the United States it may feel like life is getting back to ‘normal.’
BBQ, basketball games and concerts have begun again. But globally, it’s a different story.
Even as Dr. Anthony Fauci warns not to celebrate prematurely, there was highest travel day since the start of the pandemic over the Memorial Day weekend with more than 7-million people checked in at U.S. airports, according the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Marking the
“As we have seen repeatedly throughout this pandemic, viruses don’t have any boundaries or borders,” Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, MD Vice Chair, Global Health Committee at the Infectious Diseases Society of America and Assistant Professor of Medicine of Infectious Diseases, Medical University of South Carolina said on this week’s episode of Track the Vax.
Already the variant first identified in India, B.1.617.2 has nearly doubled its presence in the U.S. over the past two weeks, increasing from 0.5% of cases to 1.3% of cases according to the CDC.
In India, the strain has caused mass devastation.
“The situation on the ground is very frightening and it is an urgent public health emergency,” Kruppalli explained. “Hospitals are at capacity, particularly in parts of Northern India. There still is a limited supply of oxygen. Oxygen is a very hot commodity.”
They aren’t alone. The New York Times reports: The authorities in Malaysia have barred people from venturing more than about six miles from home. Covid-19 patients are spilling into the hallways of overcrowded hospitals in Argentina. In Nepal, 40 percent of coronavirus tests are positive, suggesting that the virus is racing through the population.
“We’re not in a post pandemic period. We won’t be in a post pandemic period until we’re able to get the entire world vaccinated. And I really worry that this is going to become a disease of those who are economically and socially disadvantaged,” Kuppalli tells Track the Vax host Serena Marshall.
In this episode of Track the Vax you’ll also learn:
- Why Black Fungus is another emerging concern
- What needs to happen to move rapidly in global vaccination efforts
- Why, Kuppalli says, the U.S. needs to focus more globally on their vaccine outreach.