Throughout the United States, infectious disease experts are keeping a close eye on the BA 2 strain of the Omicron variant. CDC’s data tracker shows that the BA 2 strain is responsible for approximately 3.9% of all new cases in the country. NPR reported that BA 2 spread more quickly, around 30% more easily, as cases of BA 2 even caused a second Omicron outbreak in Denmark.
Samuel Scarpino, manager director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation, told NPR that the US might enter an “exponential growth phase” and may even see a COVID wave if BA 2 doubles again to 8%. Vaccination and prior infection may even prevent a surge in BA 2 cases, according to some experts. Dr. Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, warned that a large number of people could get sick and end up on respirators and die as a result of BA 2, particularly those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Nevertheless, Luban emphasized they cannot rule out the possibility of another surge based on the BA.2 strain extending the Omicron wave. According to NPR, Nathan Grubaugh, an associate professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, believes that the BA.2 variant is likely to get rapidly reported in the US, just as it did in Europe, and become the new dominant variant. According to Grubaugh, Omicron cases may extend rather than emerge in a new wave with the BA 2 strain. It is possible that the BA.2 strain of Omicron strain might slow down the reduction in cases due to the extended tail, according to Grubaugh.
COVID-19 tally in the US
As of 22 February, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the US is 80,145,282. It is estimated that 960,157 people have died of the Coronavirus and 51,929,244 have recovered from it. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 214.7 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 92.8 million people have received a booster dose of the vaccine.