According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the omicron sub-variant BA.2 was responsible for the majority of new coronavirus infections in the United States last week (CDC). BA.2 accounted for roughly 55% of new cases in the week ending March 26, compared to 40.4 percent for the previously leading strain BA.1.1.

While covid-19 infections in the United States have been dropping since reaching an all-time high in January, a spike of BA.2 cases in Europe and Asia has raised concerns among US health authorities, even though most states have lifted prohibitions. Meanwhile, the FDA authorized an extra covid-19 booster dose for elderly and immunocompromised persons in the United States today (March 29). 

BA.2 Accounted For 55% Of The New Cases Last Week

Although BA.2 has been around since the omicron version first appeared last autumn, it didn’t account for a significant part of US covid-19 cases until recently. Between the week ending Jan. 29 and the week ending Feb. 26, the proportion of BA.2 covid cases nearly doubled, steadily eclipsing BA.1 instances over the last month.

Because its spike protein possesses numerous changes not found in earlier omicron strains, the now-dominant sub-variant is thought to be more transmissible than prior versions of the virus.

However, BA.2 does not appear to produce more severe illness than the formerly prevalent omicron strain, and vaccinations licensed in the United States should give enough protection against severe sickness.

According to Joshua Sharfstein, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, those who have previously been infected with BA.1 should have high protection against BA.2. While other regions of the world are closing down in reaction to an increase in BA.2 infections, the United States remains relatively open, with just a few pandemic limitations in place.

Although the United States continues to report thousands of coronavirus cases every week, funding for coronavirus testing, treatment, and vaccinations may soon run out owing to a political standstill in Washington. The White House recently requested an additional $22.5 billion in financing from Congress to assist domestic and international covid-19 efforts, but the money was cut from the final federal budget plan.