The U.S., plagued by the COVID-19 Omicron BA.5, may face another hurdle in the way of cutting the spread of the disease. It is known as the BA.2.75 subvariant. Its presence and growth has been most pronounced in India. However, variants and subvarieties often spread from nation to nation quickly based on experience. It has reached the United States.
Rajendram Rajnarayanan, PhD, assistant dean of research and associate professor in the department of basic sciences at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, tracks variants with the use of GISAID, a global data-sharing platform for viruses, which keeps information on the spread of COVID-19 worldwide.
Because the virus is tracked differently by nation, the numbers are probably only correct directionally.
One of the most important questions about the BA.2.75 subvariant is whether it can be more prevalent than the Omicron BA.5 over time. Another question is how it acts among people who have already been infected or been vaccinated.
The discovery of the BA.2.75 subvariant should not just cause worry about its presence. Rather, it is a sign that the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve and change. One of these variants could not only infect people who have been infected or vaccinated. It could create much more serious symptoms.
The states in the U.S. where the BA.2.75 subvariant has been detected are California, Washington, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, New York, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Delaware and Arizona. Although the case counts are small, the geographic pattern shows how widely it is present across the country.
There has been debate over whether the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The spread of new variants shows it probably is not.
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