Will BA.2 Variant Cause Another COVID-19 Surge?
That is the big question these days since every month there’s another Coronavirus variant popping up…
CelebnHealth247.com reports BA.2 is now responsible for more than 70% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control.
But while BA.2, a subvariant of omicron, seems to spread more easily than previous versions of the virus.
“It certainly appears to be more transmissible,” Dr. Albert Ko, professor of public health, epidemiology and medicine at the Yale School of Public Health, told TODAY. Right now, BA.2 appears to be about 30% more transmissible than the initial omicron strain, he said. (And, remember, omicron was already a more highly transmissible variant than delta or alpha.)
Will BA.2 cause another surge in cases?
Dr. Megan Ranney, emergency medicine physician and associate dean for strategy and innovation at the Brown School of Public Health, told TODAY:
BA.2 is definitely an extremely transmissible variant. But it’s going to be “a little tough to suss out is how big of a deal that’s going to be for the United States.
The reason why is because we’ve seen really different patterns of BA.2 infection in different countries across the globe,” she said. In some parts of the world, like the U.K., hospitalizations and deaths due to BA.2 increased alongside cases. But other countries have “seen a little bump in cases that was short-lived and didn’t really impact hospitalizations a lot.
Meanwhile, Dr. Otto Yang, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases, and of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told TODAY.
I think the virus is going to continue to circulate. And areas that have lower population density or high vaccination rates are going to have less illness.
Why Is Omicron ‘stealth’ variant BA.2 is spreading rapidly in China!
CNBC reports, Mainland China battles its worst Covid-19 outbreak since early 2020, local governments increasingly say the new omicron BA.2 variant is to blame.
Mainland China has reported well over 1,000 new confirmed Covid cases a day since March 12, with the number holding above 2,000 for the last three days. That’s not including the asymptomatic case count, which can be just as many, or far more, than the number of daily confirmed cases.
“Omicron BA.2 caused this outbreak, and spreads faster and more easily than previous viruses,” the export-heavy province of Fujian said in an online statement Tuesday, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.
The subvariant is also “stealthier” and harder to find, but infections are primarily mild or asymptomatic cases, the Fujian government said.
Why is the US downplaying the variant? What’s really going on?