On Tuesday, February 22, the WVDHHR reported 206 cases of Covid-19 in Putnam County during the preceding 7-day period. Of that number, only 134 were listed as active.
The number of active cases is significantly lower than the 410 active case numbers reported by the DHHR on February 22, 2021.
Active case numbers is a measure of actual exposure to the disease. Chance exposure to Covid in Putnam County is only one half as great as it was at this time last year.
The Covid strain which was prevalent in February of 2021 has been replaced with the much more highly infectious Omicron variant, a variant that has largely defeated vaccines and vaccine boosters. While Omicron can produce severe cases, the number of such cases are few in comparison to previous Covid strains.
Recovery from Omicron infection tends to be rapid — quarantine periods have been reduced from ten days to five.
Active case numbers in Putnam did not drop below 134 in 2021 until the 10th of June. Putnam active Covid case numbers registered a low of 31 on July 6, 2021. The active case numbers climbed until January 23, 2022, when 902 were reported.
Some researchers believe that Omicron may give much of the population “superimmunity”—stronger protection against new variants and even future coronaviruses.
Historically, protection against smallpox came from exposure to cowpox. Only time will tell but there is hope that Omicron will be to Covid-19 that which cowpox was to smallpox.