April 6, 2022
The Omicron subvariant BA.2 is inflicting the lion’s share of COVID infections in the USA now, however to date it hasn’t resulted in a surge of instances.
BA.2 accounted for 72% of instances final week, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whereas the general variety of instances has continued to fall. The seven-day every day common of COVID instances was round 25,000 on Tuesday, in comparison with round 44,000 on March 4 and round 312,000 on Feb. 4, the CDC says.
Some well being specialists say there is probably not a surge from BA.2.
“I might not be vastly involved about BA.2,” Christopher Murray, MD, a professor of well being metrics sciences on the College of Washington and the director of the Institute for Well being Metrics and Analysis, informed NBC News.
“Proper now, we’re on this interval the place immunity is excessive and we’re heading into the summer time and transmission tends to be a bit decrease,” he mentioned. “The mix ought to lead within the Northern Hemisphere to fairly low ranges after the BA.2 wave.”
Case counts jumped when the Delta and Omicron variants appeared, however that’s not taking place with BA.2, Jessica Justman, MD, an epidemiologist at Columbia College’s Mailman Faculty of Public Well being, informed CNN.
“It is a clear instance of how these two developments aren’t essentially tied collectively,” she mentioned.
When documented COVID infections went up final month in Europe and different elements of the world due to BA.2, U.S. well being specialists frightened the identical factor might occur right here. Thus far, it hasn’t.
Andy Pekosz, director of the Middle for Rising Viruses and Infectious Illnesses at Johns Hopkins College, informed CNN that the surge in European BA.2 instances occurred as a result of these nations dropped many security precautions when plenty of viruses have been nonetheless circulating.
“What you are seeing in Europe could also be ensuing from the truth that they lifted their restrictions early, not a lot that it is BA.2 that is there,” he says.
CNN famous that it’s troublesome to acquire correct case counts now as a result of so many individuals are utilizing house testing kits and never reporting optimistic outcomes to well being departments.
“I believe there isn’t any query there’s underreporting of optimistic instances,” Mara Aspinall, a professor at Arizona State College, informed CNN.
Murray mentioned he’s frightened extra a couple of doable COVID surge within the fall, when immunity offered by boosters declines and leaves folks weak, maybe to a model new subvariant.