Contagious Omicron BA.2 Now Dominates US Covid Infections
CDC data reveals that the subvariant dubbed "stealth omicron" is responsible for 55% of new covid cases, making it the most common strain in the U.S. Other CDC research finds nearly every American now has some form of covid antibodies, which may protect the nation from another severe surge.
The More Contagious BA.2 Version Of Omicron Is Now The Most Common In The U.S.
A subvariant of omicron that's even more contagious than the original is now the most common coronavirus strain in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that the BA.2 strain now accounts for more than half — 54.9% — of coronavirus infections nationwide, according to new data. It's even more prevalent in certain parts of the country. For example, over 70% of COVID-19 cases in the Northeast are BA.2, the CDC estimates. The BA.2 variant does not appear to make people any sicker than the original omicron strain of the coronavirus, and vaccines still offer protection against it. (Hernandez, 3/29)
Los Angeles Times:
Omicron BA.2 Now Dominant Version Of Coronavirus In U.S.
How big that potential upswing might prove to be remains the subject of much debate. Some experts believe California is well-armored against another significant surge — largely because the vast majority of residents have either been vaccinated or likely have some natural immunity left over from a recent infection. But BA.2 has fueled substantial increases in other countries, demonstrating how readily the super-contagious subvariant can still spread. (Money and Lin II, 3/29)
The Wall Street Journal:
Omicron BA.2 Variant Is Dominant Covid-19 Strain In U.S., CDC Estimates
The Food and Drug Administration said last Friday that providers should no longer use GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Covid-19 antibody treatment sotrovimab in Massachusetts, New York and several other states, after finding that the drug is likely ineffective against the BA.2 variant. The agency also said it would track BA.2’s prevalence around the U.S. and might need to further limit where sotrovimab can be used. (Kamp and Abbott, 3/29)
In related news —
CDC: Majority Of U.S. Has Covid Antibodies, What That Means For You
Some people are worried that another Covid surge is coming, powered by omicron’s highly contagious BA.2 subvariant. But experts say a significant jump in cases is unlikely, at least for now — possibly due to a recent estimate that nearly all Americans currently have some level of Covid antibodies in their systems. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of blood donor samples, conducted in December and updated last month, an estimated 95% of Americans ages 16 and older have developed identifiable Covid antibodies. Those come from both vaccinations — roughly 77% of the U.S. population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose, according to the CDC — and prior Covid infections. (Scipioni, 3/29)