Omicron sub-variant BA.2 accounts for about 55% of COVID variants in U.S. – CDC

(Reuters) – The U.S. national public health agency said on Tuesday that BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was estimated to account for more than half the coronavirus variants in the country.

A resurgence of COVID-19 cases in parts of Asia and Europe has raised concerns that another wave could follow in the United States, but the country’s health experts believe it is unlikely. read more

Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel said the 7-day rolling average for COVID cases bottomed a week ago at just under 29,000 and has stayed at about the same level.

“There could be a modest increase in cases in the short term as more states bottom, but there are still no signs of a sharp reversal to the degree seen in many countries in Europe,” Newshel said in a note.

Last week, top U.S. infectious disease official Dr Anthony Fauci said that although he does not expect a major surge, he would not be surprised to see a rise in cases owing to the increasing dominance of the BA.2 sub-variant. read more

The highly transmissible BA.2 sub-variant is estimated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make up 54.9% of the COVID-19 variants in the United States, as of March 26.

A health care worker points to a man wearing a protective face mask while waiting in line to receive one of the available first, second and booster doses of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the L.A. Care Health Plan free testing and vaccination site at the First African Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

BA.2 made up 39%, revised up from 34.9%, of the variants in the country for the week ended March 19, according to CDC estimates.

Most people in the United States are now considered to be in low COVID transmission, according to new CDC guidelines introduced last month that emphasized hospital capacity over case counts. read more

Reporting by Bhanvi Satija and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Vinay Dwivedi

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