Coronavirus

Omicron’s BA.2 sub-variant is gaining momentum in the United States

According to epidemiologists, the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron variant is beginning to spread in the United States. However, its rate of spread in the country remains low unlike that of the original Omicron variant, and also compared to what is happening in other countries.

The BA.2 subvariant has some similarities to Omicron, which has led virologists to consider it a “sister virus” to the original Omicron version, rather than a descendant. Currently, BA.2 has been detected in almost every country in the world.

In some countries such as Denmark and South Africa, a new wave of contamination is to be feared because the rate of spread of BA.2 has even exceeded that of other strains of the coronavirus. On the other hand, the prevalence remains low or even constant in other countries such as the United States.

The prevalence of the BA.2 subvariant

BA.2 was first detected in the United States at the beginning of January 2022. Until mid-February, the BA.2 subvariant accounted for only 3.9% of new cases of infection with the Covid-19. On the other hand, the United States had recorded during the month of December 2021 a predominance of the BA1.1 and BA1.1.529 subvariants.

Despite this low prevalence, BA.2 still poses a threat to the USA. According to statistics provided by the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of BA.2 doubled between February 5 and February 12. At this rate, a new wave would be to be feared in the coming months.

Protect yourself from viral transmission

According to Dr. Nathan Grubaugh of the Yale School of Public Health, there is a likelihood that the recent infection caused by Omicron created some kind of protection against the BA.2 subvariant. Since many people have already been infected with Omicron, the spread of the new subvariant may weaken despite its high transmissibility.

In any case, for the United States, it will be the decisions taken by the authorities and each individual that will determine the follow-up concerning the BA.2 sub-variant. If until now, its spread has been slowed down for example by wearing a mask, being too confident could lead to an increase in the number of people affected.

According to experts, the situation is quite complicated regarding the BA.2 subvariant because it is more difficult to tell the difference between it and BA.1. This differentiation was simpler between Omicron and earlier variants.

In any case, we should not relax against Omicron since this variant has caused more victims in the United States than the Delta variant.

SOURCE: IFLScience

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