WVXU: COVID numbers are low across Greater Cincinnati. Will winter change that?

UC expert says we should prepare for new variants over the next few months

COVID-19 cases are declining across Greater Cincinnati, but this time of the year is also traditionally the peak for respiratory illnesses, meaning the virus will probably hang on into next year. WVXU interviewed some local infectious disease experts for a story on what to expect from COVID-19 during the fall and winter months. One of those was Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine. 

Professor Carl J. Fichtenbaum, MD shown here his in lab at MSB. UC/ Joseph Fuqua UC/Joseph Fuqua II

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Joe Fuqua II/UC Marketing + Brand

Ficthenbaum says the public should be prepared for new COVID variants and an increase in cases as the weather gets colder and people congregate indoors more.

For now, the numbers are encouraging.

"Locally right now, COVID cases are declining, and they've been declining in most of Ohio right now. In neighboring Kentucky they've been a little higher," he says. "But we're really seeing a decrease in COVID activity right now."

That decline is likely due in part to new vaccines that address new variants of the virus like omicron. But those don't mean cases won't rise again.

"I don't think it's going to be quite as profound as last wintertime, when we saw a big increase with the emergence of the omicron variant," Fichtenbaum says. "But I won't be surprised if there is another variant that emerges during the winter season."

See the entire story here.

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