WHO tells U.S. to pay attention as surging COVID cases flood Europe's hospitals again

Posted at 3:46 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 17:47:48-05

(WXYZ) — COVID-19 cases are surging in Europe and hospitals are filling up with sick patients.  The World Health Organization is urging the United States to pay close attention and learn from their missteps. 

Unfortunately, Europe is at the epicenter of the pandemic. Coronavirus cases there are soaring – in the last month alone, they’ve jumped over 50%. The same is happening with hospitalizations – they’ve almost doubled in the same time frame. And there’s more bad news. Unfortunately, the World Health Organization is warning that if the trajectory continues, another half a million deaths could happen by February 2022.

So what led to this latest wave in Europe? First of all, vaccinations plateaued. So just like here in the US, there are areas with low vaccination rates. Also, pandemic precautions were relaxed. And when those two key things get combined with the virus, especially the highly contagious Delta variant, it doesn’t take long before infections start to rise. And that’s what happened in Europe. The areas with low vaccination rates have mortality rates that are soaring while areas with high vaccination rates are avoiding major spikes in cases.

I believe the World Health Organization is hoping we’ll see what’s going on in Europe and avoid another deadly surge here. One key point that’s been made, is that success today, does not mean success tomorrow. So if we see start seeing cases surge, we should take precautions right away. And not take a “let’s wait and see what happens approach."

As for non-essential travel restrictions being lifted, I’m expecting we’ll see an influx of travelers. Especially with the two big holidays approaching - Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lots of families and friends will want to gather because they haven’t seen each other in a long time. Now, the good news regarding non-essential travelers is that the US is only allowing those who are fully vaccinated to visit. And for the people flying, they also have to show a negative COVID-19 test. So that will help filter out people infected with the virus. But it’s not going to be 100%. As I’ve said before, vaccines are our best protection. But they work best if we combine them with face masks, hand-washing, and proper ventilation. Together, they can really keep the virus at bay. And help keep the US from another potential COVID surge.