LANE COUNTY, Ore. — It may seem like its gone away but COVID is still impacting members of our community, our station took a closer look at the latest data in our area.
COVID-19 cases have ticked up in Lane County since last month. But still nowhere near the levels from the beginning of the year.
January of this year saw the largest number of cases in the past ten months.
Right now, Lane County is seeing 300 to 400 cases per week, with cooler weather and more people staying indoors due to wildfire smoke.
Lane County Public Health says this is a prime environment for COVID-19, and for two new variants.
“And this virus continues to mutate. Two of the variants can really become concerning if they become dominant. And they're not showing signs of that yet,” says Dr. Patrick Luedtke. “One of them is pretty good at what we call 'immune escape.' Which means it's good at getting away from some of our products that prevent infection."
The doctor says it's the BA2.75 that has shown some ability to get around the immunity of vaccines.
He says the good news is viruses cannot mutate forever, they can only last for so long.
Next, he says health officials are also watching out for Ebola; it's not in the county right now. But Uganda is seeing an outbreak.
Dr. Patrick Luedtke says the CDC and 5 international airports are funneling in anyone who comes back from the country to test them.
And just as a precaution, "What public health does and what we want the clinical community to do is, we want them to be prepared. First off, letting everyone know it's out there. And secondly, dust off your plans for PPE; personal protective equipment," says Dr. Luedtke.
And if you’ve been wondering about the Monkeypox virus around the area, Dr. Luedtke says, "It has been quiet lately. So, we've been at 22 total cases. 19 are confirmed. 3 of those are presumptive, we're waiting for the test results. We've been at that for a few weeks now, which is great. We're very happy we don't have any new cases."