Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Omicron sub-variant BA.2 makes up 72% of Covid variants in US, says CDC

Overall Covid-19 cases in the US have dropped sharply after hitting record levels in January, but a resurgence in cases in parts of Asia and Europe has raised concerns that another wave could follow in the US.

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The US national public health agency said on Monday the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was estimated to account for nearly three of every four coronavirus variants in the country.

Overall Covid-19 cases in the US have dropped sharply after hitting record levels in January, but a resurgence in cases in parts of Asia and Europe has raised concerns that another wave could follow in the US. The country’s health experts, however, believe it is unlikely.

The seven-day moving average of US Covid cases was 26,106 as of April 1, marginally lower than 26,309 from a week earlier, as per data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The highly transmissible BA.2 sub-variant makes up 72.2% of the Covid variants in the US, as of April 2, up from nearly 57.3% in the preceding week, according to CDC estimates.

BA.2 now makes up about 86% of all sequenced cases globally, according to the World Health Organization. It is known to be more transmissible than the BA.1 and BA.1.1 Omicron sub-variants, however, the evidence so far suggests that it is no more likely to cause severe disease.

Amid waning immunity and risks posed by the Omicron variants, US health regulators authorised a second booster dose of Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna’s vaccine last week, for people aged 50 and above, as well as for younger people with compromised immune systems.

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