COVID's Newest Variant

New dominant Omicron subvariant sweeps across the US

(RxWiki News) The number of COVID cases in the US is rising and it is linked to a new dominant Omicron strain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this variant is now the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the US.

This new dominant strain is called BA.5.

What we know about the Omicron variant:

  1. The three most common subvariants of Omicron are BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5.
  2. Omicron appears to spread easier than previous variants including the Delta variant. 
  3. Infection caused by Omicron seems to causes less severe disease than previous variants. (However, some people may require hospitalization with this variant).
  4. We are seeing similar symptoms with the Omicron variant when compared to previous variants.
  5. We saw Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants emerge within the last year (BA.1 in November of 2021 and BA.2 emerged in January 2022).
  6. We are seeing people becoming reinfected even if they have recently recovered from COVID-19.

We can expect new variants to continue to emerge. This is because viruses are always changing. And the virus that causes COVID-19 is no different. 

Staying up to date with your COVID vaccines is one way to protect yourself. 

The CDC strongly recommends vaccination as vaccines help protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death. 

Recently a FDA advisory committee voted in favor of including an Omicron component in future COVID-19 vaccines. This component would be included in COVID boosters hopefully by the fall of 2022.

Speak with your healthcare provider if you have any questions.