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Omicron sub-variant makes up 23.1% of COVID variants in U.S.


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A view from the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters, September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo

(Reuters) – The Omicron sub-variant BA.2 was 23.1% according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists observe a sharp rise in BA.2 cases in Europe and Asia.

According to data from the CDC, 39% percent of cases are now caused by the sub-variant in New Jersey, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands.

The subvariant is now present in 38.6% of all cases in states like Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts.

After reaching record-breaking levels in January and subsequently falling, the U.S. daily case numbers have begun to fall in recent weeks. This is due to the CDC drastically reducing its COVID-19 recommendations for masks in schools.

According to the World Health Organization, initial data from the BA.2 subvariant that has been replacing Omicron’s older BA.1 variant shows no difference in disease severity.

Additional Omicron variants that circulated since December (called BA.1.1 or B.1.1.529 respectively) now represent around 66.1%, 10.8%, and 10.9% of the circulating variants.

The CDC estimated that BA.2 accounted for 13.7% of circulating variations in the week ended March 5. This is an increase from 11.6% according to a CDC model which estimates percentages of circulating varieties. As it receives more information, the agency has made adjustments to its previous estimates.

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