Your Health: Advanced warnings on COVID spread

Just when we thought we had COVID beat, it comes right back, different strain, different symptoms.
Just when we thought we had COVID beat, it comes right back, different strain, different symptoms.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The newest subvariant strain of COVID, BA.5, is spreading through the United States and is now the cause of most COVID cases.

Sept. 20, 2022: Michigan reports 16,901 new coronavirus cases, 147 deaths over past 7 days

What if you could predict the spread of the virus down to your hometown? New research may make localized early COVID warnings a reality.

“The reality is that we are learning to live with COVID,” said Dr. Ben D. Sawyer.

For the past two years, scientists have been using data and computers to predict where the virus will spread next and how many people may get sick. Now, scientists are testing a new method of forecasting COVID that could help cities prepare information that is localized, similar to a daily weather forecast.

“If you are looking at the weather, you would not like to know the weather for the United States, you’d like to know the weather for your surrounding area,” Sawyer said.

The researchers used artificial intelligence to forecast the spread of the disease. Compared with other current methods of forecasting COVID, the AI model predicted COVID cases that were closest to the actual numbers.

Scientists said that with the machine learning model, local experts anywhere in the world would be able to more accurately predict the number of people who would get sick, the number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths.

“One of the most useful things we can do is start working on giving people useful tools to understand how the disease will impact their life,” Sawyer said.

As of mid-July, the Centers for Disease Control reported the country’s seven-day average of new cases had ballooned to over 100,00 new infections a day, more than three times higher than this time one year ago.

More: Health stories

Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.