The prevalent BA.2 form of Omicron, which accounts for 35% of Covid cases in the US, is causing an increase in infections in several areas of the country.
According to the AFP, the country is presently recording an average of 28,600 cases per day, significantly below the previous peak of more than 800,000 average daily infections in January.
Covid-19 mortality are estimated to be approximately 900 each day, with a total of one million deaths from the sickness likely within around a month, according to the article.
However, Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned of early indicators of a new wave.
“We have noticed a minor rise in reported Covid-19 cases in New York state and New York City, as well as some increases in persons in hospital with Covid-19 in New England, particularly where the BA.2 variation has been reaching levels above 50% (prevalence),” she told reporters.
The BA.2 version is more severe than the original Omicron. It is also less likely to avoid immune protection, but it is more contagious.
While some have faulted governments for loosening restrictions too rapidly, epidemiologists have also referred to the BA.2 sub-lineage of the Omicron variety, which has grown prominent in several nations.
BA.2 is sometimes referred to as “stealth Omicron” because it is more difficult to detect, and it is predicted to be roughly 30% more infectious than its predecessor BA.1.
According to Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, the growing instances in Europe are the result of a “perfect storm” of three factors: the relaxation of limitations, declining immunity after vaccination, and BA.2.
“Removing regulations has aided the spread of BA.2 and may result in the development of additional varieties,” he told AFP.
According to Antoine Flahault, head of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, “a handful of theories are on the table that are not mutually incompatible.”
He told AFP that BA.2 was “certainly a major suspect in understanding the present recovery,” and that decreasing immunity and relaxing of measures were other factors.
During the infection resurgence, he also mentioned air pollution in Western Europe, citing studies that found a “strong link” between Covid outbreaks and high levels of fine particulate matter in the air.