Infectious Disease Experts Warn of New Variant That May Be More Contagious Than Omicron

February 24, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
<strong>Infectious Disease Experts Warn of New Variant That May Be More Contagious Than Omicron</strong>

Although the surge in omicron infections has been declining over the past few weeks, leaders at the World Health Organization have issued new warnings regarding another new variant of concern, known as BA.2. 

Although still classified as omicron, the BA.2 strain differs from the current BA.1 strain and the previous delta strain, as it is more contagious and can spread about 30% more easily.

On Monday, the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution met to discuss the latest evidence backing the variant of concern, as research is showing that at the global level the proportion of reported sequences of BA.2 has been increasing relative to BA.1. 

The BA.2 strain now accounts for 3.9% of all new infections in the U.S., but is doubling fast, based on new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is some promising news, however, as initial data from population-level reinfection studies suggests that previous infection with the omicron BA.1 strain can provide strong protection against reinfection with BA.2.

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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