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We Are Preparing for a Multidemic

August 13, 2021  ||  by matt albasi

COVID numbers continue to climb across the country, but at a slightly slower pace than last week. Concurrently, flu-like illness is starting to rise early, leading to what will be an unprecedented fall and winter.

Two New States Join This COVID Wave

Missouri, Nevada and Arkansas — areas where this wave of the pandemic began — are showing early signs of cases slowing down. Meanwhile, Vermont and New Hampshire, both largely untouched during this wave, have now joined the top ten areas with the fastest increase in cases. For the time being, their caseloads are still low — 90 per day in Vermont and 154 in New Hampshire — but since cases are increasing around 200% per day in those areas, these numbers may balloon quickly.

Vaccines Stymie Death Rate

Nationally, hospitalizations are the highest they have been since mid-February with the seven-day average at about 70,000 people hospitalized. Hospitalizations have now surpassed all but the December-January wave of the pandemic. While COVID-related deaths have increased by more than 90 percent in the last two weeks, deaths continue to be lower than the previous waves thanks to the vaccines. However, in areas like the south where vaccination rates remain low, we expect to see the death rate continue to grow in coming weeks as hospitals and health systems reach capacity.

Line chart showing historical illness and current illness level for children younger than 13

A Multidemic is Coming

This week, Kinsa’s CEO Inder Singh, spoke on MSNBC about his predictions for this upcoming illness season. Even prior to schools being back in session, Kinsa data shows higher-than-usual levels of illness, especially among school-age children. With cold, flu and COVID symptoms trending up this early, we are teed up for a tumultuous season and a “multidemic,” with multiple epidemics happening concurrently. We predict that this multidemic will be a combination of COVID-19, flu and other respiratory viruses. Watch the full MSNBC clip here.