17-23 July 2022 (Data as of 25-07-2022)
The Public Health department published its weekly Public Health Spotlight on Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases Thursday 28 July 2022.
Following the recent uptick in new cases reported globally, over the past week the number of new cases plateaued, and the number of deaths reported has increased. Many countries are changing testing strategies which need to be considered when interpreting trends in cases detected. Omicron continues to be the dominant variant circulating globally, with the BA.5 sub-lineage accounting for 54% of sequences from recent early July. BA.5 is indicated to lead to an increase in cases as well as hospitalisation and admissions to ICU. A new subvariant of Omicron which WHO is monitoring is BA.2.75 which has been reported in 15 countries to date. However, it is not known whether this subvariant is associated with more severe outcomes.
WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). No cases have been detected in the Cayman Islands.
Cayman Islands Local Trends
As testing activity has fallen over the past week, detection of cases has also decreased. The number of new confirmed cases declined by 21% from 408 in Epi Week 28 to 323 in Epi Week 29. The detected case rate decreased to 466 cases per 100,000 from 588 cases per 100,000. The number of PCR tests conducted decreased by 18% from 876 in the week prior to 718 tests. The daily detection of cases presents in a different weekly pattern from previous weeks (Fig 2) as drive through PCR testing is now available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Nine new hospital admissions were registered during Epi Week 29, the same as the previous week. Of the nine new admissions, 3 were admitted due to COVID-19 morbidity and 6 patients were detected on screening. A total of 15 patients required inpatient treatment, an increase of 25% from 12 in the previous week.
During Epi Week 29, there were 55 adults who received a COVID-19 vaccine (19 first dose and 36 second dose) and 7 children (2 first dose and 5 second dose).
Hospital admissions remain elevated considering the decline in detected cases, which is likely indicating that the number of detected cases is an underestimate of the true incidence in the population. Genomic sequencing data suggests a decrease in the proportion of samples which are the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant and an increase in BA.5, BA.4 and BE.1 Omicron sub-variants.