Increased transmission of COVID-19 in Mississippi, County Testing Sites Limited

COVID-19 transmission is beginning a steep slant in Mississippi, with the first signs of sustained transmission emerging after a long spring dip that followed massive infections of the omicron variant. The Mississippi State Department of Health warns of rising cases statewide, but limited support for testing services has dramatically reduced available appointments at Department of State testing sites. county health.

“Mississippi is seeing increasing cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19, now approaching 200 per day, with a continuing upward trend,” the Mississippi State Department of Health warned in its latest COVID-19 update. “Although the majority of cases occur in people aged 50 and over, infection can still lead to serious illness and hospitalization in younger people, especially if they have not been fully vaccinated, with all doses. recall to which they may be entitled.”

Over the weekend, the MSDH reported 955 new cases of COVID-19 for the three-day period. Friday’s report, for cases detected on Thursday, included 701 new cases, which is significantly higher than the transmission of previous days and weeks, which sometimes fell below 100 cases in one day.

Mississippi isn’t alone in increasing transmission. Nationally, experts are warning of a growing wave of omicron subvariants, and analysis of these emerging variants has shown disturbing trends. Previously, few variants possessed the ability to outperform other strains of the virus. Now like Dr Eric Topol warnedomicron seems to be wired differently.

“Very few of the thousands of variants since late 2019 have led to significant spikes in cases globally,” Topol wrote. “(Including) only 4 (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) before Omicron. But now several sub-variants of Omicron compete with each other, mainly due to greater immune evasion.

Further research suggests that currently available vaccines are still largely effective against the omicron family of subvariants. Protection against symptomatic transmission continues to decline as new subvariants emerge, but fully vaccinated people and especially those with boosters or hybrid immunity to infection show resistance to severe consequences, including including hospitalization and death.

Vaccination remains the most effective method of preventing severe cases of COVID-19 as reinfections continue to rise. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

The best free option for rapid COVID tests, MSDH County Health Department testing sites, are facing withdrawal due to waning support for anti-coronavirus measures. Even with relatively weak transmission, a limited track of test appointments is available on the state planning website.

Liz Sharlot, director of communications for MSDH, told the Mississippi Free Press in a statement that the reduced availability of testing was the result of limited capacity and reduced external support to the agency.

“During the COVID emergency, we had a lot more assistance than we have now,” Sharlot wrote. “All of our health service (staff) have resumed their ‘regular work’ and we no longer have the National Guard.”

The available tests are now rotating around the state on a weekly basis, Sharlot explained. About 42 sites are available each week. People looking for a test should look for a county testing location near them, consider request free home test kits in advance via USPS or by contacting a local health care provider.

For those who test positive for COVID-19, interventions are always available. Some forms of monoclonal antibodies remain effective against omicron infections. Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are antiviral pills that can stop the growth of the virus, provided they are taken within five days of the onset of symptoms.

“Remember,” state health officer Thomas Dobbs wrote on social media, “we have effective treatments for COVID, so GET TESTED (and) GET TREATED if you get sick”.

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