Europe has seen a recent outbreak of new coronavirus cases, raising questions about why COVID-19 is spreading so fast after a brief lull period.
His colleague attributed the spread to three main factors:
- The omicron variant’s subvariant BA.2 has become transmissible.
- Society is opening up more.
- Waning immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine or infection.
What he said: “Without a doubt, opening up society and having people mingle indoors is clearly something that is a contributor, as well as overall waning immunity, which means we’ve really got to stay heads-up and keep our eye on the pattern here,” Fauci said. “So that’s the reason why we’re watching this very carefully.”
The bigger picture: Countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases right now.
- Coronavirus experts told The Washington Post that a widespread COVID-19 outbreak in Europe will probably lead to a similar wave of coronavirus cases in the United States.
- Data from a wastewater network — which monitors for COVID-19 cases in wastewater — recently warned that more than one-third of the network’s sample sites found rising COVID-19 cases in the U.S., per Bloomberg.
What they’re saying: “Why wouldn’t it come here? Are we vaccinated enough? I don’t know,” Kimberly Prather, a professor of atmospheric chemistry and an expert on aerosol transmission at the University of California at San Diego, told The Washington Post.