The subvariant of Omicron that’s more transmissible than BA.1 was responsible for new cases
The US is trudging into what could be another COVID-19 surge, with cases rising nationally and in most states after a two-month decline.
“We don’t know how high that mountain’s gonna grow,” said Dr. Stuart Campbell Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University.
No one expects a peak nearly as high as the last one when the contagious omicron version of the coronavirus ripped through the population.
Experts warn that the coming wave is caused by a mutant called BA.2 that’s thought to be about 30% more contagious.
The new BA.2 will push up hospitalizations in a growing number of states in the coming weeks.
The case wave will be bigger than it looks, they say, because reported numbers are vast undercounts as more people test at home without reporting their infections or skip testing altogether.
At the height of the previous omicron surge, reported daily cases reached into the hundreds of thousands.
On April 14, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose to 39,521, up from 30,724 two weeks earlier, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Keeping the surge somewhat in check, experts said, is a higher level of immunity in the US from vaccination or past infection compared with early winter.
About 55 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, compared with more than 600 at one point in the pandemic.
Vigilance is a good strategy, experts said, because the coronavirus is constantly throwing curveballs.
One of the latest: even more contagious subvariants of BA.2 found in New York state, known as BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1. And scientists warn that new and potentially dangerous variants could arise at any time.
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‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort