Omicron subvariant BA.2 now the dominant Covid strain in US

Omicron subvariant BA.2 is now the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the US (Picture: Getty Images)

The Omicron subvariant BA.2 has become the dominant coronavirus strain in the US, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows.

BA.2 accounted for an estimated 54.9% of new Covid-19 infections over the past week, according to the data released on Tuesday.

The hardest hit region is the Northeast, with BA.2 being the root of more than 70% of coronavirus cases. Infections there are up by almost 47% over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the least number cases have been reported in the Mountain West and South regions, with BA.2 causing slightly more than one-third infections.

The BA.2 subvariant is extremely contagious and federal health officials are monitoring whether it will be a serious threat in the US as it spreads around the world. A resurgence in coronavirus cases in parts of Europe and Asia has spurred concerns that a spike could follow in the US.

Worldwide, BA.2 made up 86% of sequences from the past month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week.

‘Omicron is sweeping the globe. 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,’ said WHO technical director Dr Maria Van Kerkhove last week.

‘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.’

News of BA.2 becoming the dominant strain came on the same day that the of the Pfizer and Moderna for adults 50 years an older. Those adults can receive the additional booster dose after at least four months from taking the first booster.

As of Saturday, the seven-day average of coronavirus cases in the US was 27,895, which is 4% higher than the previous week.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said last week that Covid-19 cases could rise due to BA.2 becoming dominant, but that he does not expect a surge as great as the one driven by the Omicron variant.



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