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This Week in Illness, April 16

This Week in Illness aggregates insights from Kinsa's network of smart thermometers and major headlines from across the country to bring you up to speed. Get your insights at a glance.

April 16, 2021  ||  by Matt Albasi

Another busy week of illness news as J&J’s vaccine rollout stalled in an abundance of caution, and cases climbed in the Midwest. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and government officials discussed plans to treat covid as a regular seasonal illness, and the WHO pleaded for us to have a reality check on the state of the COVID pandemic. 

Illness Signals Trended Up And Cases Rose Above Summer Highs

Nationally, Kinsa’s influenza-like illness (ILI) signal continued to increase for the fourth week in a row, reaching around 1% on Friday. Long-duration fevers, another signal from Kinsa’s network of smart thermometers, have also increased slightly over the last week. Average daily hospitalizations marked the second straight week of increases. The 14-day average of COVID-19 cases increased to around 70k, above the peak average of the summer surge. 

Midwest Risk Increased, New Jersey Decreased

Much of the country experienced an increase in ILI this week. Only five states’ ILI trended downward, a complete reversal from a few weeks ago. Regionally, Michigan was still in a rough spot. They led the nation in new COVID cases and were the only state rated critical on the HealthWeather map. Our map also marked many counties in nearby Minnesota and Illinois as having critical COVID risk. New Jersey added around 4,000 cases per day this week, but they appeared to be on a downward trajectory. 

Map showing counties in the midwest who are now rated as having a critical covid-19 risk

Vaccinations Chug Ahead While White House Pauses J&J Rollout

Vaccination rates continued to climb this week, averaging above three million doses administered per day. 23.6% of the population is now fully vaccinated, and 37.9% received at least one shot. The Biden Administration paused the J&J vaccine rollout amidst concerns over a severe side effect experienced by six people. The pause is not expected to impact vaccine supplies significantly, although there is worry it will disproportionately affect underserved communities. Dr. Fauci talked about booster shots to re-up immunities and estimated people would need to be vaccinated about 12 months after their last shot.  Moderna and Pfizer also spoke this week, saying they expect regular booster shots to become the norm.

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