Due to its contagiousness, its tendency to mutate into new variants, and a large number of unvaccinated individuals, there's no way we're going to eradicate this virus, said Fauci. Photograph:( AFP )
Despite the fact that a significant portion of Covid cases are thought to be hospitalized "with" the disease rather than for the disease, official data showed 145,982 hospitalisations for the disease
Even as the US faces soaring infections and record hospitalisations associated with COVID-19, Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert says the country is approaching the "threshold" of a transition of living with the virus as a manageable illness.
The top US scientist told the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that eliminating Covid would be unrealistic and that "Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody."
"There's no way we're going to eradicate this" virus, he said, due to its contagiousness, its tendency to mutate into new variants, and a large number of unvaccinated individuals.
While vaccination is still effective against severe outcomes, it is losing its effectiveness against the infection.
However "as Omicron goes up and down," the country will hopefully enter a new phase "where there'll be enough protection in (the) community, enough drugs available so that when someone does get infected and is in a high-risk group, it will be very easy to treat that person," said Fauci.
"When we get there, there's that transition, and we may be on the threshold of that right now," he said.
However, with the country currently recording almost a million infections each day, nearly 150,000 hospital admissions, and more than 1,200 daily deaths, he points out, "we're not at that point."
Despite the fact that a significant portion of Covid cases are thought to be hospitalized "with" the disease rather than for the disease, official data showed 145,982 hospitalisations for the disease.
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The Omicron variant may cause severe cases, at a lower rate than Delta, but it is affecting more people due to its extreme infectiousness.
According to New York state data, the age-adjusted vaccine efficacy against hospitalization was 92 per cent by December 27.
(With inputs from agencies)