Health officials in the U.S. are bracing ahead of an anticipated winter COVID-19 surge as cases rise in Europe.
Previously, rising infections in America have trailed Europe, including last winter’s omicron spread.
Cases started trending upward in Europe around early September, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In its most recent report, the ECDC said “widespread increases were being observed in all indicators.”
According to The Seattle Times, Washington state’s King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said in a news briefing that waning immunity, increasing gathering and a return to pre-COVID activity was leading to a surge in Europe.
“This should be a clear warning for us because in the past, major surges in Europe have been a good predictor of what we can expect to see in the U.S. in about four to six weeks,” he advised.
In the U.S., data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows that there are over 38,000 daily COVID cases.
However, falling temperatures have sparked concerns about increased transmission, as well as the looming threat of a more infectious variant.
Omicron sublineages have been growing in prevalence in the U.S., with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing BA.4.6 and BQ.1.1 growing over the past few weeks.
This comes as masking and mitigation restrictions have either been lessened or removed entirely.
The White House is urging Americans to get their omicron-specific bivalent booster to help stave off another surge, but just under 15 million people have received the updated shots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.