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                                       AUGUST BLOG

                                                   U.S.                                                                  California

                                   CASES               DEATHS                                     CASES                 DEATHS       

December 2020    19,111,443           341,149                                    2,120,610               24,241

 

2021   Timeline

January                  26,185,362           441,319                                    3,310,949               40,702

February                 28,602,101           513,137                                    3,563,578               51,953

March                     30,459,874           552,072                                    3,668,277              59,240

April                         32,225,012           574,280                                    3,742,115              62,078

May                         33,261,284           594,468                                    3,789,227              63,247

June                        33,624,871           603,966                                    3,814,890              63,569

July                          34,434,136           610,859                                    3,903,052              64,231 

August                    39,057,368           638,700                                    4,326,204              65,757 

September            43,471,906            698,149                                   4,720,860               69,130

October                 45,979,056            746,021                                   4,915,796              71,950

November             48,214,360            776,586                                   5,060,666              74,152

December             54,859,966            825,816                                   5,515,250              76,520

 

2022 Timeline

January                 74,333,528             884,265                                   8,292,735              79,801

February                79,025,644             949,957                                   8,961,636              85,043

March                    81,780,503         1,007,320                                    9,102,677              89,052

April                        82,658,881         1,018,326                                   9,192,666               90,145

May                        86,065,680         1,032,094                                   9,574,768               91,591

June                       86,967,132         1,015,938                                 10,024,838               92,113

July                         90,733,888         1,027,886                                 10,367,437               92,784

August                   94,199,489          1,043,864                                 11,052,866               94,959

 

UPDATED WEEKLY - Last updated on 29 Aug 2022, 8:42 am PST, John Hopkins Corona Virus Dashboard and Worldometer

 

Cases Worldwide  

                            John Hopkins                                                               Worldometer

  • TOTAL CASES    -   601,068,062                                     TOTAL CASES    -    606,122,784

              Recovered     -                                                              Recovered     -    581,648,885

  • TOTAL DEATHS  -     6,486,873                                       TOTAL DEATHS   -       6,488,762

 

POPULATION - is 331,002,651* as of 29 Aug 2022, 8:42 am PST, based on Census U.S. and World Population Clock.

      * no updated information at this reporting

 

Cases in the U.S.

  • TOTAL CASES    -   94,199,489                                       TOTAL CASES    -     96,011,855

              Recovered     -                                                              Recovered     -     91,628,571

  • TOTAL DEATHS  -     1,043,864                                       TOTAL DEATHS  -       1,069,132

 

1.  Nationally the unemployment rate for the month of July 2022 was 3.5%.

2.  528,000 jobs added in July.

3.  Average increase in hourly wage was $ 0.15.

 

Cases in California

  • TOTAL CASES    -   11,057,328                                       TOTAL CASES    -       11,052,866

              Recovered     -                                                              Recovered     -       10,338,748

  • TOTAL DEATHS  -         94,812                                        TOTAL DEATHS  -              94,959

 

08/29/2022                   Cases (WHO)                Deaths (WHO)                Recovered (WHO)

  • Texas                  -     7,765,238                        90,539                             7,398,981
  • Florida                -    7,048,501                         79,617                             6,753,301
  • New York           -     6,144,111                        71,438                             6,022,306
  • Illinois                  -    3,670,258                         39,284                            3,503,815
  • Pennsylvania     -    3,167,638                         46,596                            3,071,298
  • N. Carolina        -    3,098,923                          25,843                           3,006,390
  • Ohio                   -    3,049,546                          39,406                           2,937,464
  • Georgia             -    2,852,706                          39,632                           2,712,094
  • Tennessee         -    2,284,225                          27,389                            2,227,408
  • Arizona              -    2,245,713                          31,047                            2,173,972
  • Alabama          -    1,479,605                          20,048                            1,317,814
  • Louisiana          -    1,422,451                           17,843                           1,367,776
  • W. Virginia        -      578,535                              7,268                              568,079

  * correction

** no change

           *** no updated information at this reporting

 

United States progress                                       Updated 29 Aug 2022, 8:42 am PST,

  • Doses Distributed                                                 806,829,135
  • Doses Administered                                            608,937,334
  • 1st dose administered                                        262,643,277           79.1%               
  • 2nd dose administered                                      223,914,723           67.4%
  • Booster administered                                         108,540,822           48.5%
  • 2nd Booster                                                            21,772,202           33.7%                  
  • Total population                                                 331,002,651**

   *Updated information    

             ** no updated information at this reporting

 

 

AUGUST  BLOG

 

COVID UPDATE

 

VARIANT UPDATE

MEET THE NEW “TRANSFORMERS “ -  ‘CENTAURUS’ AND ‘BAD NED’.  Sounds serious, doesn’t it??? Meet ‘Centaurus,’ the new ‘stealth Omicron.’ It was just found in the U.S. and may escape immunity more than any other COVID strain.  Thu, July 7, 2022, 11:51 AM.  A new Omicron sub-variant on the radar of the World Health Organization, WHO, one some experts say could be the most immune-evasive yet, has been identified in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Fortune.  There have been two cases of BA.2.75, dubbed “Centaurus,” detected in the U.S., the first identified June 14.  Centaurus recently rose to prominence in India, competing with the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant that is sweeping the globe.  

 

BA.2.75 has been reported in “10 other countries” but not declared a variant of concern, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist said.   But some experts are raising potential red flags.  Dr. Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research and founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, said the new sub-variant’s mutations “could make immune escape worse than what we’re seeing now with BA.5 and BA.4, both known to evade immunity from vaccination and prior infection.

 

BA.2.75, with the usual Omicron mutations, has nine additional changes, none of which are concerning individually.  "But all appearing together at once is another matter.  Its ‘apparent rapid growth and wide geographical spread’ are concerning,” Tom Peacock, a virologist at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Imperial College in London said.  Centaurus "may just spread for some period of time until it runs into BA.5 and is outcompeted for people to infect indicated.  Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security stated that “that it's unclear if Centaurus can ‘take off’ in the face of BA.5 and relative BA.4. “Aside from India, the virus has been detected in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the UK. 

 

The ultra-new variant could also mirror another 'stealth Omicron'  sub-variant, BA.2.12.1, in that it could take over for a period becoming dominant over BA.2 in May and remaining dominant until BA.4 and BA.5 pushed it back in late June. 

 

BA.4/BA.5 Omicron sub-variants over 4 times more resistant to mRNA vaccines. 

  • Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are currently the dominant strains of new COVID-19 cases in the United States, accounting for over 80% of cases.
  • Researchers found the two sub-variants are over 4 times more resistant to mRNA vaccines than earlier strains of Omicron.

 

In a new study published in the NatureTrusted Source, researchers conducted lab experiments to see how well antibodies from vaccinated individuals can neutralize the new sub-variants. The findings show that, when compared to BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 are at least 4 times more resistant to antibodies in individuals who received mRNA vaccines.

 

New research shows immunity against the dominant Omicron sub-variants appears to wane.  mRNA vaccines continue to provide very durable B and T cell-based protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.  Some preliminary data shows that natural infection, occurring up to 14 months ago, remains 97% protective against the current Omicron sub-variants.  T cell immunity from mRNA vaccines remains protective across all COVID-19 variants.

 

Sub-variants and mutations When asked why current dominant Omicron sub-variants are better at evading vaccines, Dr. Clarence Buddy Creech II, MPH, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt University, told Medical News Today:

 

As sub-variants emerge, it is not surprising they are capable of evading immunity.  Variants neutralized by our immune system will have a difficult time becoming the dominant strain the vast majority of individuals have been vaccinated or infected with COVID-19.”

 

How Omicron sub-variants affect hospitalization rates Different countries have different immune profiles against COVID-19 due to several factors, including:

  • vaccination rates
  • circulating strains
  • general risk profiles - age, public safety measures, etc.

Varying factors indicate BA.4 and BA.5 affect countries differently.  Higher case numbers of BA.4 and BA.5 were linked to a small rise in hospitalizations in South Africa Trusted Source, although a slightly lower death rate than the country’s previous Omicron wave.

 

Portugal is seeing a more significant effect from BA.4 and BA.5.  Although it has a higher vaccination rate than South Africa, it also has an older population.  Rates of hospitalization and death are similar to those in the first Omicron wave, although still less than those caused by earlier waves.

 

BA.4 and BA.5 may lead to increased hospitalizations, particularly among the unvaccinated, the immunosuppressed and those of advanced age.  Vaccination is so important, while cases are increasing, there are fewer hospitalizations

 

The omicron sub-variant now dominating the U.S. is ‘the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen’.  Tue, July 5, 2022, 10:23 AM.  New immune-evading Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is now dominant in the U.S. and a shadow of its former self, according to federal health data released.  BA.5 caused 54% of COVID infections in the U.S. during the first week of July according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.  With its twin variant, BA.4, swept South Africa this spring thanks to its ability to evade immunity from both prior infection and vaccination.

 

The week before, the two variants combined made up half of U.S. cases.  The first week of July, BA.5 accomplished the feat without the help of BA.4.  BA.2.12.1 dominant until mid-June came in second last week at 27%, BA.4 in third at 16% and BA.2 came in fourth with 3% of cases.

 

“The Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is the worst version of the virus we’ve seen,” Dr. Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research and founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.  “It takes immune escape, to the next level and enhanced transmissibility well beyond what has been seen before,” he wrote.

 

The jury is still out on whether current vaccines hold up against BA.5.  Vaccines were 15% less effective against Omicron than against the Delta variant, even with a booster.  “It would not be surprising to see further decline of protection against hospitalizations and deaths,” Topol wrote.

 

Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, indicated that symptoms of the new sub-variants are similar to typical Omicron symptoms, which include:  fever, loss of smell and malaise.  Dr. Sigal stated, “I haven’t seen early symptoms of respiratory distress, the major COVID-specific symptom that makes this disease so dangerous, it doesn’t feel nice, but there’s less chance of dying.”

 

For now, wary U.S. treads water with transformed COVID-19.  July 3, 2022, 11:31 AM.  The fast-changing coronavirus has kicked off summer in the U.S. with infections but relatively few deaths compared to its prior incarnations.  COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, but is not nearly as dangerous as it was last fall and winter.

 

“It’s going to be a good summer and we deserve this break,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.  With more Americans shielded from severe illness through vaccination and infection, COVID-19 has transformed, into an unpleasant, inconvenient nuisance for many.   “It feels cautiously good right now,” said Dr. Dan Kaul, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.  

 

In the U.S. the average daily deaths from COVID-19 is approximately 360, while last year it was around 228.  There were fewer reported cases this time last year, an undercount, as at-home tests aren’t routinely reported.  As many as 8 out of 10 people in the U.S. have been infected at least once.  

 

The death rate for COVID-19 has recently fallen within the range of an average flu season, according to data analyzed by Mara Aspinall, Arizona State University health industry researcher.  When vaccinations first became widely available in the U.S last summer, delta surged followed by the arrival of omicron, killing 2,600 Americans a day at their peak last February.

 

Experts agree a new variant may be capable of escaping the population’s built-up immunity with fast-spreading omicron subtypes BA.4 and BA.5 possibly contributing to change in death numbers.  “We thought we understood it until the new sub-variants emerged,” indicated Dr. Peter Hotez, infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.  It would be wise to assume that a new variant will come along and hit the nation later this summer, then another late fall-winter wave.

 

New Omicron spawn like ‘Centaurus’ and ‘Bad Ned’ may be the reason you have a weird summer cold or worse!  Sat, July 9, 2022, 2:00 AM.  Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School stated, “We’ve seen all kinds of variants within the Omicron family.  We need to see a substantial rise in the number of cases in many locations to know it’s truly a major variant of concern.” 

 

Some BA.2.75’s mutations are worrisome, and “some we don’t know much about,” stated Dr. Dan Barouch, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research

 

‘Bad Ned’ and relatives emerge.  “Centaurus” wasn’t the only COVID sub-variant to catch eyeballs, there was also chatter about BA.5.3.1, aka “Bad Ned.”  The name is symbolic of its mutation on N:E136D according to Australian data visualist, Mike Honey.  Bad Ned, a spin-off of the BA.5 sub-variant, is currently sweeping the globe.  In Germany, it’s been on the rise since late May and responsible for 80% of BA.5 cases. 

 

Is Omicron COVID’s ‘sweet spot’?  Kuritzkes finds it interesting that every successful variant or sub-variant has been an Omicron spinoff: “stealth Omicron” BA.2 and spinoff BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5.  “We continue to see derivatives of Omicron rather than something completely different emerging,” he said.  Delta didn’t come from BetaBeta didn’t come from Alpha.”  “The virus may have finally found an evolutionary niche where this is the best it can do, and it’s modifying, tinkering around the margins to gain slight advantages.”

 

Researchers point to Omicron’s milder symptoms and predilection for the upper respiratory tract as compared to the original strain, which often settled in the lower lungs, posing greater risk for pneumonia and death.

 

But if you come down with a weird summer cold or worse, COVID could be to blame.  If it’s not BA.5 or Centaurus or Bad Ned, it's likely some other new-fangled Omicron spawn.

 

Your COVID protection outside isn’t what it was in 2020. Here’s why it’s time to think more critically about outdoor gatherings. Sat, July 9, 2022, 12:02 PM The outdoors has always been a sanctuary, more so since the advent of the pandemic.  In 2020, experts advised, urging cooped-up citizens to turn to Mother Nature as an antidote to the isolation of lockdowns.  Events, dining and even entire classrooms were moved outside, when feasible.

 

But Omicron was a game changer, in more ways than one.  Adrian Esterman, professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of South Australiawrote on academic news website The Conversation, “In order to outcompete, successful COVID variants have become more transmissible:

 

  • Delta had a reproductive rate of 5.1
  • Omicron a reproductive rate of 9.5
  • "stealth Omicron" a reproductive rate of 13.3
  • dominant COVID sub-variants a reproductive rate of 18.6, tying or surpassing measles, the world's most infectious viral disease

 

Greater transmissibility is in any setting - indoors or outdoors, although outside is safer.  Outdoors isn't what it was in 2020!   For those hosting events:

  • decreasing the amount of attendees  - can "drastically" reduce transmission
  • recommend guests are vaccinated, recently tested negative and symptom-free.
  • If an outdoor event is crowded, especially with singing, yelling, a concert or protest - masking is a good idea.

 

"The more crowded an outdoors space is, the more it mimic an indoor space in terms of exposure to shared air."  For indoor activities outside of home, mask up, even if your trips are brief.

 

How to Protect Yourself?  Getting vaccinated is your best bet!

 

IT’S NOT OVER!

 

Stay safe.  Mask.  Social distance.  Frequent hand washing.  Avoid crowds

 

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL

 

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