Positivity rates for COVID-19 subvariants increase in South Florida


MIAMI – The new COVID-19 sub-variants, BA. 4 and BA.5 are behind the latest new surge in South Florida.

The new variants come from South Africa and are now found in South Florida.

Premier Medical Laboratory Services said it found three cases in Miami-Dade.

“They are far more transmissible and infectious in individuals than any previous strains we have seen,” said CRF infectious disease expert Dr Aileen Marty.

Dr Marty said the difference is that now more people have significant immunity, but over time that immunity wanes and opens the door for newer subvariants that seem to have less difficulty entering our cells.

“BA.4 and BA.5 replicate more efficiently in our cells so that we produce more virus. therefore, we are rejecting a lot of viral material that other people can be infected with,” Dr Marty said.

This is the reason why the positive numbers of COVID-19 are increasing.

In Miami-Dade, the positivity rate is 22% and in Broward, it is almost 23%.

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However, if you are vaccinated and boosted, you probably won’t end up in the hospital.

“76% of the cases in our hospitals right now are people who have never been vaccinated,” Dr Marty said.

On May 23, the Jackson Health Care System had 84 COVID-19 patients, now that number has risen to 137.

“We are seeing an increase again, but the severity is not that severe,” said Jackson Memorial Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hany Atallah.

Both doctors agree people need to be vigilant about COVID-19 and strongly suggest getting vaccinated.

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