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Valley doctor shares concern in rising covid cases

1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago Monday, June 20 2022 Jun 20, 2022 June 20, 2022 7:49 PM June 20, 2022 in News

Health officials report that COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in Hidalgo County.

Hidalgo County Healthy Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez says that the total number of active cases in Hidalgo County currently stands at 1,738.

"Our numbers are dramatically better and improved as compared to the highlight of the pandemic," Melendez said. "But unfortunately in the last month we've seen a notable increase."

Melendez says that the increase of number of cases is tied to the omicron variant that has become more infectious, less deadly and very different from the COVID-19 strain.

"Unfortunately, because of the mutations, we are not seeing the efficacy of the vaccines when it comes to not getting the infection," Melendez says. "Where they are very efficient still, fortunately, is that they keep you out of the hospital and they keep you from dying."

Melendez believes that summer vacation is only adding to the spread of the virus.

"We have a lot of traveling, this is the time of year where people travel," Melendez said. "They go back and forth."

Our current situation is better than it was at the start of the pandemic, but Melendez says it is not the time to be complacent.

"The problem is not over," Melendez said. "5% of hospital beds in Hidalgo County have covid patients. And on top of that we have 600 people testing positive daily and our numbers have gone from 12 in the hospital to 50."

Discussions between the CDC and FDA will continue next Tuesday. Melendez says he is looking to see whether they approve a new omicron B-A two variant vaccine and what decision they make on the frequency of vaccines and boosters. 

"What we can do in our country to protect ourselves first and foremost, it's a vaccination," Melendez said. 

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