Omicron BA 2 Rises In The U.S., But Experts Remain Optimistic
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Omicron BA 2 accounts for nearly 35 percent of Covid-19 cases in the U.S., a 10 percent increase from the week before, when BA 2 was detected in 23 percent of U.S. cases.
Covid-19 is most prevalent in the Northeast, with more than half of cases occurring in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
However, will the rise of BA 2 in the U.S. – widely anticipated after infection spikes in Europe caused by the omicron subvariant over the past few weeks – have any measurable effect on the country generally, particularly as Americans are just now adjusting to normal routines?
Despite estimates that BA.2 is 30 percent more infectious than BA 2, infectious disease experts remain steadfast in their prediction that the subvariant is unlikely to cause widespread severe illness or overwhelm hospital resources.
As Chief Medical Officer for the CDC’s response to Covid-19, Dr. John Brooks stated that while BA 2-related infections may rise, severe disease or deaths related to the subvariant are unlikely to increase.
“Our data indicates it will keep growing,” Brooks said. But there are a few things working in our favor, starting with the recent omicron surge. He said many Americans have been infected with the omicron variant and are therefore likely to have high immunity to its subvariants, including BA 2.