A CDC graph shows just how different the Omicron wave is compared to previous COVID-19 surges




  • In Science
  • 2022-01-25 19:51:49Z
  • By Business Insider
Chart showing difference between Omicron variant and past COVID-19 surges.
Chart showing difference between Omicron variant and past COVID-19 surges.  
  • A new CDC graph shows just how different the Omicron wave is compared to previous COVID-19 surges.

  • Omicron has caused comparatively fewer deaths than other pandemic peaks.

  • But hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and average new cases have hit record-highs.

A new graph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how different the current wave caused by the Omicron variant is compared to previous COVID-19 surges.

The highly transmissible variant has put the US at nearly 2,000 deaths each day - a figure that's actually lower than at other points in the pandemic.

According to CDC figures, the country saw seven-day averages of over 2,000 deaths in mid-April of 2020, and throughout much of the 2020-2021 winter the US averaged over 3,400 deaths.

But while the Omicron variant has caused comparatively fewer deaths than at other points in the pandemic, hospitalizations and emergency department visits during the current surge have hit record-highs.

As a result, hospitals and healthcare systems have felt the strain of increased admissions as they deal with issues like shortages in staffing and ICU beds.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has also shattered previous seven-day averages for new COVID-cases recorded at other points during the pandemic.

In January 2021, the US saw a then-record-setting seven-day average of nearly 230,000 cases, according to CDC data, before vaccines became more available to the general population.

But by December 2021, the US began setting new case records like clockwork.

And amid the height of the current Omicron surge in mid-January, the country saw its highest-ever seven-day average of daily new COVID-19 cases with nearly 800,000, according to the CDC.

Nearly two weeks later, the seven-day average of daily new cases has dropped to around 664,000, according to the latest CDC figures.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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