SARS-CoV-2 Update

It’s time for our next 14-day moving average determinations for SARS-CoV-2 for the United States and my thoughts on vaccines and mutant viruses. We use the WORLDOMETERS aggregators data set to make any projections since it includes data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Military, federal prisons and the Navajo Nation.

In the United States, SARS-CoV-2 deaths have increased for the fourth time in fifteen 14-day periods. There were 412 more deaths per day than in the last 14-day period. In the last 14 days, the number of infections has increased by 4,204 infections per day compared to the preceding 14-day period.  Our infections per day are continuing to rise again over the last 10 weeks, secondary to SARS-CoV-2 mutant Delta/B.1.617.2 and other variants like Mu/B.1.621. The opening of schools, places of worship, bars, restaurants, indoor dining and travel all will contribute to further spread of SARS-CoV-2 mutants, like the Delta, Delta plus, Lambda and the Colombian variant Mu/B.1.621 with continued rising numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Increased vaccinations, increased mask usage and social distancing, which are a part of the Biden SARS-CoV-2 plan will be necessary to stop the spread of mutants and cause reductions in infections, hospitalizations and deaths. On 8/27/21, the United States had 171,125 new infections with one state failing to report (Iowa). There were also 1,761 deaths (with seven other states failing to report deaths). Florida is a persistent reporting failure of daily infections and, particularly, deaths. The number of hospitalized patients is again increasing and 25,749 patients are seriously or critically ill, that number was 24,809 two weeks ago. The number of critically ill patients has increased by 949 in the last 14 days, while at least 19,526 new deaths occurred. The number of critically ill patients is increasing for the fifth time in five 14-day periods and an increasingly large number of patients are still dying each day (average 1,395/day). 

As of 9/10/21, we have had 677,017 deaths and 41,741,693 SARS-CoV-2 infections in the United States. We have had 2,177,039 new infections in the last 14 days. We are adding an average of 1,088,519 infections every 7 days. For the pandemic in the United States we are averaging one death for every 61 infections reported or 16,219 deaths for each one million infections. As of 8/27/21, twenty-seven states have had greater than 500,000 total infections, and 33 states have had greater than 5,000 total deaths. Ten states (Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, New York and California) have had greater than 20,000 deaths. Four states (Florida, Texas, New York, and California) have had greater than 40,000 deaths. On 11/20/20 in the United States, 3.70% of the population had a documented SARS-CoV-2 infection. California was ranked 41st in infection percentage at 2.77%. In North Dakota 9.18% of the population was infected (ranked #1), and in South Dakota 8.03% of the population was infected (ranked #2).

As of 9/10/21, in the United States, 12.52% of the population has had a documented SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the last 9 months, over 8% of our country became infected with SARS-CoV-2. 

As of 9/10/21, California was ranked 36th in infection percentage at 11.32%. Tennessee was at 16.46% (ranked #1), Florida was at 16.08% (ranked #2), North Dakota was at 15.98% (ranked #3), Rhode Island was at 15.65% (ranked #4), Arkansas was at 15.64%(ranked fifth), Mississippi was at 15.466% (ranked sixth), South Dakota was at 15.460% (ranked seventh), Louisiana was at 15.32% (ranked eighth), South Carolina was at 15.22% (ranked ninth) and Alabama was at 15.11% of their population infected (ranked tenth). Thirty-two states now have greater than 12% of their population infected and 42 states have greater than 10% of their population infected. Two states have less than 5% of their population infected: Vermont (4.76%) and Hawaii (4.96%). Unfortunately Hawaii reported 747 new infections and 8 deaths on 9/10/21.

The Threat of SARS-CoV-2 Variants

In response to the need for “easy-to-pronounce and non-stigmatising labels,” at the end of May, the World Health Organization assigned a letter from the Greek alphabet to each SARS-CoV-2 variant. GISAID, Nextstrain, and Pango will continue to use the previously established nomenclature. For our purposes, we’ll be referring to each variant by both its Greek alphabet letter and the Pango nomenclature. 

The WHO has sorted variants into two categories: Variants of Concern (VOC) and Variants of Interest (VOI). The criteria for Variants of Concern are as follows:

  • Increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; or 
  • Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; or 
  • Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.  

The WHO categorizes the following four variants as Variants of Concern (VOC):

The criteria for Variants of Interest (VOI) are as follows:

  • has been identified to cause community transmission/multiple COVID-19 cases/clusters, or has been detected in multiple countries; OR  
  • is otherwise assessed to be a VOI by WHO in consultation with the WHO SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution Working Group. 

The WHO categorizes the following six variants as Variants of Interest (VOI):

Watching World Data

Over the next few months, we’ll be paying close attention to correlations between the SARS-CoV-2 data, the number of isolates identified in various countries and states, and the non-pharmaceutical interventions (like mask mandates and lockdowns) put in place by state and national governments. Data on infections, deaths, and percent of population infected was compiled from Worldometers. Data for this table for SARS-CoV-2 Isolates Currently Known in Location was compiled from GISAID and the CDC. It’s worth noting that GISAID provided more data than the CDC.

LocationTotal Infections as of 9/10/21New Infections on 9/10/21Total DeathsNew Deaths on 9/10/21% of Pop.InfectedSARS-CoV-2 Isolates Currently Known in LocationNational/ State Mask Mandate?Currently in Lockdown?
World224,614,354(8,459,105 new infections in 14 days)595,8944,629,069(261,642 new deaths in 14 days)9,6552.88%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Zeta/P.2 (Brazil)A lineage isolateV01.V2 (Tanzania)APTK India VOC 32421Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)BV-1 (Texas, USA)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Theta/P.3 (Philippines) Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)C.1.2 (South Africa 2% of isolates in July 2021)NoNo
(ranked #1)
(ranked #1)
(ranked #1)
1,76112.52%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Zeta/P.2 (Brazil)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)BV-1 (Texas, USA)Theta/P.3 (Philippines) Theta/P.3 (Philippines) Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
Brazil20,974,850(ranked #3)   15,951585,923(ranked #2)7189.78%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Zeta/P.2 (Brazil)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
India33,200,877(ranked #2)37,873442,350(ranked #3)3042.57%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)APTK India VOI 32421Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)NoNo
United Kingdom7,168,806(ranked #4; was #6 two weeks ago)37,873133,98814710.49%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Theta/P.3 (Philippines) Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)C.1.2 (South Africa)NoNo
California, USA4,345,068(ranked #13 in world)13,46366,62520311.32%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Zeta/P.2 (Brazil)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Theta/P.3 (Philippines) Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru) Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia) NoNo
Mexico3,479,999(ranked #15)14,828266,150(ranked #4)7302.66%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
South Africa2,848,925(ranked #17)5,88384,6082814.73%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)NoNo
Canada1,538,093(ranked #27)4,60427,170364.03%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)Yes, except Alberta ProvinceNo
Poland2,892,642(ranked #16)52875,41787.65%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
Turkey6,613,976(ranked #7)23,56250,3842147.74%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
Russia7,102,625(ranked #5)18,314                                               191,1657894.86%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)NoNo
Argentina5,221,809(ranked #9)2,816113,28218311.42%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Gama/P.1 (Brazil)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)NoNo
Colombia4,926,772(ranked #10)1,772125,529499.56%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
Peru2,159,306(ranked #18)813198,673(ranked #5)526.44%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)Lambda/C.37 (Peru)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo
Indonesia4,158,731(ranked #13)5,376138,4313151.50%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Theta/P.3 (Philippines) Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)NoNo
Iran5,258,913(ranked 8th; was 12th two weeks ago)21,114113,3804456.16%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)NoNo
Spain4,907,461(ranked 10th) 4,44085,2907210.49%B2 lineageAlpha/B.1.1.7 (UK)Delta/B.1.617.2 (India)Beta/B.1.351 (SA)Gamma/P.1 (Brazil)Epsilon/B.1.427 + B.1.429 (USA)*Eta/B.1.525 (Nigeria/UK)Iota/B.1.526 (USA-NYC)Kappa/B.1.617.1 (India)Mu/B.1.621 (Colombia)NoNo

What Our Team Is Reading This Week