Most of the US population has been infected with Covid, says CDC

Three out of four children have already had Covid-19

A child gets tested for coronavirus in Louisville, Kentucky. AFP
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At least 58 per cent of the US population has been infected with the coronavirus at least once, the country’s public health agency found in a new study published on Tuesday.

The winter surge driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant drove most of the cases, nearly doubling the number in a matter of months, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infections among the US population grew from 33.5 per cent to 57.7 per cent from December 2021 to February 2022.

The record-breaking surge was fuelled by holiday travel and gatherings, the slow uptake of first booster doses, and the bungling of widespread access to tests.

Researchers reviewed blood samples from September 2021 to February 2022 and organised monthly results by age group.

They found that 75 per cent of US children have had coronavirus, highlighting how the last remaining unvaccinated population in the country has been affected by the pandemic.

People over the age of 5 are eligible for vaccination in the US.

After several delays, news organisations reported last week that the Food and Drug Administration would start to review the approval of Covid-19 vaccines for children in June.

In comparison with younger people, one third of adults over the age of 65 have been infected. This cohort is also the most vaccinated and among the most willing to take precautions.

The CDC called on people to stay up to date with their vaccines, encouraging booster doses if applicable. Those over the age of 50 are allowed to have a second booster.

Only 30 per cent of the US population has had a third, or booster, dose despite evidence that these provide the best protection against the dominant Omicron variant and its subvariants.

Updated: April 26, 2022, 6:54 PM
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