Sun, 29 May 2022

© Provided by Xinhua

Over half of respondents of the latest Gallup poll say they think the pandemic is getting worse.

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Americans' fears about COVID-19 are up as cases skyrocketed in January, prompting most of them to avoid large crowds even as masking and vaccine rates remain mostly stagnant, showed the results of the latest poll by Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, released Thursday morning.

The poll of 1,569 U.S. adults, conducted online Jan. 3 through 14, found a steep rise in the percentage of Americans who said the pandemic is "getting worse," as compared to fall 2021 data. "Worry has jumped ... and is now the highest it has been since last winter," said a poll summary.

"Americans' optimism had increased when vaccines started rolling out and when case counts declined following the Delta surge. But even though a winter spike in Omicron cases was coupled with good news about severe disease, over half of respondents said they think the pandemic is getting worse," said a USA Today report on the poll.

© Provided by Xinhua

PREVIOUS INFECTION

Surviving a previous infection provided better protection than vaccination against COVID-19 during the Delta wave, federal health authorities said, citing research showing that both the shots and recovery from the virus provided significant defense, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that data from 1.1 million COVID-19 cases in California and New York last year showed people who were unvaccinated and hadn't previously contracted COVID-19 faced a far greater risk than the other two groups of people.

"Before the Delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection," CDC epidemiologist Benjamin Silk said. "When Delta became predominant in this country, however, surviving a previous infection now provided greater protection."

© Provided by Xinhua

LONG-TERM EFFECTS

Although recent reports suggest that Omicron may cause less severe initial illness than other variants, the basic symptoms of infection with Omicron are similar to infection with other variants, suggesting that long-term effects could also be similar, reported The New York Times on Wednesday.

Milder initial illnesses do not necessarily mean that Omicron is less likely to lead to long COVID-19, experts caution. Studies from earlier waves of the pandemic indicate that many people who had mild or asymptomatic initial reactions to coronavirus infection went on to develop long COVID-19.

Vaccines primarily prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying from a coronavirus infection. "But vaccines have not been as effective in preventing infection with Omicron, and breakthrough infections with this new variant are far more common," said the report.

Sign up for Buffalo News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!