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IL COVID update today: IL reports 3,198 new coronavirus cases, 15 new deaths

CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois reported 3,198 new COVID cases and 15 deaths as of Wednesday.

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health says that “daily deaths reported at weekends and early in the week may be low” and “those deaths will be recorded in the following days.”

There have been at least 3,611,415 COVID cases and at least 34,498 deaths in the state as a whole since the pandemic began.

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As of Tuesday night, 1,477 patients in Illinois are reported to have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Of these, 188 patients were in intensive care and 57 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilation. According to health officials, 19% of ICU beds are available.

The daily number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is 30.7.

As of Tuesday, a total of 23,094,331 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois, and 65.40% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 9,112.

New study finds natural infections subside at same rate as booster shots

More than 1,200 Rush University Medical Center workers are taking part in a study measuring antibody levels since receiving the second dose of the COVID vaccine. The research of dr. James Moy was recently published in Journal of Infectious Diseases.

“Each new variant tries to escape the antibodies that are made against the first variant,” Moy said. “Antibodies are always better against old variants than against new variants.”

dr Moy says his research found that after the first two shots, antibody levels against Omicron and all of its subvariants dropped by nearly 60%. But Moy said when you get the booster, those stats go right back up, but they go back down over time.

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“What we saw in our original research is that after five months you’re down 90% of the original level,” Moy said.

Moy said his study shows that natural infection subsides at the same rate as with booster shots because antibody levels drop rapidly over a few months.

Moy strongly encouraged people to get the third shot, and if eligible, the fourth. He also said he would definitely get the optimized vaccine in the fall.

In Rush’s lab, the BA4 and BA5 variants are responsible for nearly 100% of Chicago’s COVID cases over the past month. But virologists know that the virus will mutate again.

“Different mutations can affect the virus in different and unexpected ways,” said Hannah Barbian, virologist at Rush. “There’s no guarantee it will evolve to be less severe.”

Moy’s study is ongoing and will continue as COVID vaccines are developed.

Antibody levels can only be measured by a doctor. There is currently no over-the-counter method.

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