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New omicron subvariant BA.5 now a majority of US Covid-19 cases

New omicron subvariant BA.5 now a majority of US Covid-19 cases

Washington, Jul 6 (Prensa Latina) Most of Covid-19 cases reported nowadays in the United States are due to the omicron subvariant known as BA.5, according to date released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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CDC explained that BA.5 now makes up 53.6% of US cases and BA.4 subvariant makes up another 16.5%, putting the two together at around 70% of infections.

BA.5 and BA.4 have mutations that have shown an increased ability to evade the protection from vaccines and previous infection.

New York University infectious disease expert Celine Gounder warned on her Twitter social network profile that the Omicron subvariants are more resistant than the original.

“Omicron subvariants BA.4 & BA.5 are even more mutated than the original Omicron, which means that our immune systems are having a harder time recognizing these new subvariants, regardless of whether we’ve previously been vaccinated or infected,” tweeted Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert at New York University. “We are also seeing early hints that Omicron subvariants BA.4 & BA.5 may be more virulent (causing more severe disease) than the original Omicron.”

The Food and Drug Administration last week advised vaccine makers to target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants in their updated vaccines that they are preparing for this fall.

Only about half of adults who received the initial two shots have received their booster, according to the CDC, leaving them more vulnerable to the new subvariants. And people 50 and older are encouraged to get a second booster shot as well.

While Covid-19 hospitalizations are still relatively low compared to other points in the pandemic, they are starting to climb, and have reached more than 30,000, according to a New York Times tracker.

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