According to the CDC, there is a new dominant strain of COVID making its way around the U.S. called Omicron Subvariant BA.2. The strain is thought to be much more contagious than most. And it is responsible for around 54.9% of all new Covid-19 infections reported last week.
At a Glance
- The CDC says that COVID subvariant BA.2 is showing up in high numbers recently.
- BA.2 is most affecting Northeastern states.
- While the strain is highly transmissible, it is not more dangerous.
- The strain is also becoming a global nuisance, according to WHO.
CDC Says Dominant COVID Strain is Not More Deadly than Previous Strains
The Center for Disease Control started closely following the strain last week. And Director Rochelle Walensky shared that most infections seem to be coming from the Northeast.
The director reported that New York State and City had a “small increase” in cases. And she also noted that hospitals have been admitting more people due to the infection in New England.
However, the increases are not causing alarm. Because so far, serious cases have remained low. Though, the CDC is continuing to monitor the spread.
“We are closely watching as we look for any indication of an increase in severe disease from COVID-19 and track whether it represents any strain on our hospitals. We have not yet seen this so far,” she added.
NEW: CDC says the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is now dominant in the US. Reminder that while this appears to be even more contagious than the original Omicron, it is not more virulent than previous strains, and existing vaccines still protect well against severe disease. https://t.co/3Hjt0aRomk— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) March 29, 2022
Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, further eased fears today when she tweeted that BA.2 “appears to be even more contagious than the original Omicron,” but added that it is not more dangerous “than the previous strains.”
The subvariant isn’t only making its way through the United States either. According to the World Health Organization, it’s showing up in large numbers all over the world. Over the last month, it had caused 86% of global infections.
“Omicron is sweeping the globe,” Technical director Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove shared, per ABC News. “Whether or not we will see BA.2 sweep the world — we’re seeing that happen right now. This is not a theoretical. Omicron is a highly transmissible variant of concern. BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1. And what we are starting to see in some regions of the world, and in some countries, [is] an uptick in cases again.”