COVID news: cruises, virus cases, travel, omicron, fraud

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The omicron coronavirus variant and sub-variant constitute virus cases. What to know about CDC COVID travel destination alerts, cruises, named flatworms from the pandemic.

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In the United States, more than 77.4 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday, February 11, according to Johns Hopkins University.

About 915,000 Americans died. Worldwide, there have been more than 406 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Additionally, more than 5.7 million people worldwide have died from the virus. More than 213 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated to date — 64.3% of the population — and 90 million of those people received a booster shot as of February 11, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency reports that COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates are declining nationwide as of February 3. Cases are 53.1% lower on Feb. 2 than when they peaked on Jan. 15, according to the CDC.

The omicron variant accounted for 96.4% of all sequenced cases in the week ending Feb. 5, according to the agency, and the omicron BA.2 subvariant accounted for 3.6% of cases.

Here’s what happened between February 6 and February 11:

Cruises can opt in to new COVID vaccine guidelines, according to the CDC. What this means for travelers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled new coronavirus guidelines for the cruise industry, allowing cruise lines to operate at different levels depending on the vaccination status of passengers and crew as part of a new voluntary program.

And those levels could change the recommended quarantine time for passengers after exposure to the coronavirus.

In its updated guidelines Feb. 9, the CDC maintained that cruise travel is best “avoided” — and warned that people should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they cannot. withstand a holiday on the high seas.

Cruise lines have until February 18 to join the COVID-19 program for cruise ships, which separates ships into three tiers.

Keep reading for vaccination status levels:

9-month-old twin dies of COVID, Missouri family says. “There will always be a piece missing”

Twins Amelia and Claire Peyton will not have the opportunity to grow together after a sister died of complications from COVID-19.

Both 9-month-old girls had tested positive for coronavirus, their family said, and only Claire has recovered.

Amelia, of Iberia, died Tuesday, February 1, at University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, KOMU reported.

“She will never be forgotten,” Father Brian Petyon shared on Facebook. “She was the happiest baby she has ever been in our world, now there will always be a piece missing.”

Continue reading here:

7-year-old girl dies of COVID days after her dream of being a big sister comes true, says TN mom

A second-grade student died this week in Tennessee after COVID-19 triggered an autoimmune response that “shut down her little body,” her family says.

Adalyn Rita Graviss died just a week after her dream of being a big sister came true, according to Knoxville’s mother, Jennifer Kowalski-Graviss, who gave birth to baby sister Ella on January 28.

“This girl was our whole world,” Kowalski-Graviss wrote Feb. 8 on Facebook.

“She was so brave and so strong. She prayed for so many years to be a big sister and we are so grateful that she was able to fulfill all her dreams even for a few days.

Keep reading below:

Which countries have a “very high” COVID risk? CDC adds more travel destinations to list

If you’re looking to plan international travel, it’s important to know that the majority of travel destinations around the world are considered to be at “very high” COVID-19 risk compared to others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .

Seven countries were added to the CDC’s highest risk category – level four – on Feb. 7, and the agency is urging everyone to “avoid travel to these destinations.”

Now, a total of 133 travel locations make up the Tier Four COVID-19 category, with the most recent being Armenia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel, Japan, Libya and Oman, according to travel recommendations. Agency COVID-19.

It comes after the CDC upgraded 12 destinations to level four on January 31, including Mexico and South American countries such as Brazil, Chile and Ecuador.

“If you must travel to these destinations, be sure to be fully vaccinated before traveling,” the CDC states.

To learn more about CDC travel alerts, keep reading:

Woman facing 10 years in prison for COVID fraud joins runaway couple, FBI says

A Southern California woman facing 10 years in prison for her alleged role in a $20 million COVID-19 fraud ring has gone missing, joining two others also on the run in the case, FBI officials have said.

Tamara Dadyan, 42, of Encino, has failed to show up to begin serving her sentence and is nowhere to be found, the FBI reported Feb. 3 on Twitter.

His brother-in-law, Richard Ayvazyan, 43, and his wife, Marietta Terabelian, 37, disappeared in August ahead of their own sentencing hearing in the case, McClatchy News reported. They are all still missing as of February 8.

The FBI is looking for information on Dadyan’s whereabouts. Keep reading:

Unvaccinated Oral Surgeon Sues After Rhode Island Doctor’s Practice Closes

An unvaccinated oral surgeon has filed a lawsuit in Rhode Island after his medical practice, which sees more than 800 patients each month, was closed for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the New Civil Liberties Alliance .

He was banned from working as an oral surgeon unless vaccinated, the same day Rhode Island’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers went into effect Oct. 1, according to an order from the state health department.

Now, Dr. Stephen Skoly is suing state Governor Daniel McKee and the acting director of the state Department of Health alleging that “Rhode Island arbitrarily and unlawfully prevented him from practicing medicine.” The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island by NCLA on February 4.

The Rhode Island Department of Health declined to comment on the lawsuit. A spokesman for the governor’s office told McClatchy News he would not comment on ongoing litigation.

For more on the case, read on:

Meet ‘Humbertium covidum.’ Newly discovered flatworm takes its name from the COVID pandemic

Scientists who discovered two new types of hammerhead flatworms during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown have dubbed one of the tiny creatures “Humbertium covidum”.

“We have decided to name one of the species ‘covidum’, in tribute to the victims of the pandemic,” said Jean-Lou Justine of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, in a press release.

Tapeworms are small, alien-looking worms that feed on other worms, snails and slugs in the soil, The Washington Post reported. They are very invasive.

Some hammerhead flatworms can reach up to 1 meter in size, but Humbertium covidum peaks at around 3 centimeters, according to a scientific paper by Justine and her team.

It has been found in Italy and France, although some documents suggest it could also be found in Russia, China and Japan, the newspaper said. While some flatworms are extremely colorful, Humbertium covidum is metallic black with no stripes.

To learn more about Humbertium covidum, keep reading:

Journalists Tanasia Kenney, Kaitlyn Alanis, Mark Price and Don Sweeney also contributed to this report.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is an alumnus of the College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously she has written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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