Miami, Florida – Behind the latest new surge in South Florida are the new COVID-19 sub-variants, BA. 4 and BA.5.
According to the Premier Medical Laboratory Services, they found three cases in Miami-Dade. The new variants originate from South Arica and are now in South Florida.
“They are much more transmissible and infectious in individuals than all the previous strains that we’ve seen,” FIU Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Aileen Marty said.
According to Dr. Marty, the difference is that now more people have significant immunity, but over time, that immunity drops and opens up the door to the new sub-variants which seem to have less difficulty entering our cells.
“BA.4 and BA.5 replicate more efficiently within our cells so we produce more virus. therefore we’re shedding a lot of viral material that other people can be infected with,” Dr. Marty said.
This is the reason why the positive COVID-19 numbers are going up. In Miami-Dade, the positivity rate is 22 percent and in Broward, it’s almost 23 percent. However, if you’re vaccinated and boosted you’re likely not going to end up in the hospital.
“76 percent of the cases in our hospitals right now are people who have never been vaccinated,” Dr. Marty said.
The Jackson Health Care System had 84 COVID-19 patients, on May 23, and now that number has gone up to 137.
“We’re again seeing an increase but the severity is not so, so bad,” Jackson Memorial Chief Medical Director Dr. Hany Atallah said.