Infectious Diseases Expert Says Covid-19 Will Soon Become The Leading Cause Of Death In Australia
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A health expert has warned Covid-19 is on track to become the leading cause of death in Australia.
ABC News reports that Professor Nigel McMillan said Australians shouldn't think the virus was over and done with.
He told ABC Radio Brisbane: "It will outpace cardiac coronary heart disease by the end of the year if we keep going at this rate.
"We haven't had an infectious disease be the number one cause of death in 120 years, so if that's not enough for people to realise this is serious then I don't know what is."
He added with the increasing number of Covid-19 variants, it’s difficult for health care professionals to stay on top of the disease.
Prof. McMillan added: "The case fatality rate — that is, the number of people who die per 100 — has dropped from 3 per cent to 0.1 [per cent], our medical interventions are working and people kind of consider it less serious, [but] this virus keeps changing on us.”
OzSAGE, a multi-disciplinary network of Australian experts, also confirms that this is the first time an infectious disease has become the leading cause of death in modern times.
They maintained that the virus isn’t slowing down anytime soon, as a study conducted in May revealed that 70 per cent of the 7,926 Covid-19-related deaths in Australia since the pandemic began occurred in 2022 alone.
According to Covid Live, over 30,000 Covid-19 cases were recorded across the country in the past 24 hours.
American physician Dr Eric Topol warned that the BA.5 strain of coronavirus was the 'worst variant' he'd ever seen, raising concerns over its 'immune evasion and transmissibility'.
In his newsletter Ground Truths, he wrote: “The ability to infect cells for BA.5 is more akin to Delta than the previous Omicron family of variants.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said he is concerned over people's complacency regarding the virus despite the sub-variant continuing to rip through communities.
He said in a press release: “The virus is running freely and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden based on their capacity, in terms of both hospitalisation for acute cases and the expanding number of people with post Covid-19 condition - often referred to as long-Covid.
“Finally, there is a major disconnect in Covid-19 risk perception between scientific communities, political leaders and the general public.”
He added: "I urge governments to regularly review and adjust their COVID-19 response plans based on the current epidemiology and also the potential for new variants to appear."