SAN DIEGO — San Diego public health officials are calling on San Diegans to take precautions as new numbers show the county is seeing yet another spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
"Hospitalizations have gone up about 66% in the last 30 days and ICU admission’s 68% in the same period," said Cameron Kaiser, public health official.
Dr. Kaiser says the county is seeing a rise in new omicron subvariants called BA4 and BA5. It’s the same subvariants that are emerging in other parts of the country.
"There’s really no distinct season for COVID anymore like there tends to be with influenza," added Kaiser.
Although the number of cases seen now are much lower than the surge we saw in January, the amount of COVID-19 being detected in wastewater is substantial, according to Kaiser.
"Our levels in wastewater are about double the levels we found during the delta surge. About three-quarters of the samples in wastewater that we’re detecting are BA4 and BA," said Kaiser.
Those infected with the new subvariants may develop a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, headaches and muscle pains but are less likely to experience shortness of breath or lose their senses of taste and smell.
It’s still too soon to say what’s causing the surge, but Dr. Kaiser says large gatherings could be contributing to the spike.
Those in the 20 to 49 age group make up the biggest percentage of cases.
Vaccinations remain the biggest form of defense against the virus and its subvariants, according to public health officials.
"The best way to prevent reinfections is never get them in the first place and because actually being fully vaccinated and boosted cuts your risk of developing COVID by half that's really going to be the best way you have to avoid any future infections that may come down the line," added Dr. Kaiser.
Data shows vaccination rates are continuing to go up in the county, but public health officials stress going back for a booster dose is what will give you an extra level of protection.
WATCH RELATED: San Diego is seeing spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations; local public health official (July 2022).