SAN DIEGO — After the wave of omicron came and went, this subvariant accounts for nearly 35% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., a roughly 12% increase from the week prior according to the CDC.
"it’s about 30 % more transmissible the two other things we worry about is it more virulent, no, Denmark data and U.K. data show it’s not more virulent and does it evade immune responses and the answer there is no," said Monica Gandhi, Infectious Disease Specialist for the UCSF.
Gandhi says those who are fully vaccinated with a booster should be protected against mild infection.
But there’s something brewing according to Gandhi.
"On top of it, we have at a very low level deltacron a combination of delta and omicron a hybrid monster it just shows how clever this virus is," said Gandhi.
BA-2 in Southwestern states like California has made up an estimated 41%. It’s much more transmissible. But Dr. Peter Chin-hong, while it’s not as severe, he does worry about some categories of people.
"Older than 65 and unboosted because we know if you’re not boosted and you’re you have a higher chance of getting into the hospital," said Chin-Hong.
Chin-hong says also those unvaccinated and immunocompromised.
Doctors say it’s not clear whether the rise of BA-2 will result in a major surge that will strain hospitals. What we do know, is that coronavirus will be with us for a long time to come.
"I'm probably not as worried about BA-2 as I am about remaining vulnerable to getting a new variant in the future fall or winter no one knows but we need to prepare the house for the storm, that’s gonna come at some point," said Chin-Hong.
Both doctors recommend keeping yourself protected by getting fully vaccinated, keeping yourself healthy, and not throwing away all your masks just yet.
Most vaccinated people either have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, according to health officials, and the virus rarely results in hospitalization or death for those individuals.
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