Summer COVID-19 surge, measles emerging in more adults

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Recent data from Centers from Disease Control suggests a summer surge of COVID-19 could be underway, although not as significant as in past summers. By some measures, the number of coronavirus infections is rising, along with test positivity, emergency department visits and, most alarmingly, hospital admissions.

Will Humble, Executive Director of The Arizona Public Health Association, joined Horizon to discuss the effects of the surge.

“Not in Arizona, nationally, there is an increase in hospitalizations from COVID in a lot of states, but not here. I was just talking to some folks in the emergency department. Here, it’s all about heat; they’re busy but it’s dehydration related illnesses. The number of cases has been pretty low,” Humble said.

Humble said there will be a new COVID vaccine coming out this fall that will protect against the new variants of COVID which have undergone minor mutations.

Also, more measles cases are cropping up in adults. Since the year 2000, about 40% of U.S. cases have occurred in adults. Though the virus poses the greatest danger in babies, the age group next most likely to be hospitalized by measles are adults over 25.

“Measles was gone in the U.S. in the year 2000. The vaccination rates were so good that there were no measles left in the U.S., but over the last 20 years, there has been an anti-vax movement and the slow erosion in the number of kids that are vaccinated for lots of different vaccines including the MMR which is the one that has measles in it,” Humble said.

“People over 25, they were in before the anti-vax movement; their parents got them vaccinated. It’s people under 25, and usually it starts with international travel,” Humble said. Travelers come back to the U.S. from counties where the vaccination rates may be low and create a cascade of cases, Humble said.

Will Humble, Executive Director for The Arizona Public Health Association

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