Wednesday 25 May 2022 03:43 PM New BA 2.12.1 Covid variant is now DOMINANT in the US - overtaking the ... trends now
There is a new dominant COVID-19 strain in America, with the BA 2.12.1 variant overtaking the BA.2 'stealth' variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed in its weekly update on Tuesday, with the new strain likely behind the rising case figures across the east coast.
The strain, which Americans were first alerted of by New York state officials in April, makes up 58 percent of sequenced COVID-19 cases, up from 49 percent of cases the previous week. Revised data from last week shows that it also made up more cases than the stealth variant - at 49 percent compared to BA.2's 48 percent.
It is most prevalent in the New York and New Jersey region of the county, making up nearly 80 percent of cases in the region where it first made ground.
BA 2.12.1 is the most infectious version of the virus detected yet, believed to have a 27 percent growth advantage over BA.2 - for which it is a subvariant of. It is not believed to be any more severe than its Omicron predecessors.
Daily case figures in America have risen 13 percent over the past week, to 108,374 per day, continuing a steady rise in cases that started in late-April. Deaths have remained flat in the time since, with 344 Americans succumbing to the virus daily.
The BA 2.12.1 strain (red) is now dominant in the U.S., making up 58% of sequenced Covid cases. It has surpassed the BA.2 'stealth' variant (pink), which makes up 39 percent of infections
The BA 2.12.1 strain (red) has become dominant across the east coast, but has not had the same impact out west
According to the most recent CDC data, released as part of its weekly NOWCAST, BA.2 makes up 39 percent of active U.S. cases, a figure that has has shrunk in the weeks since BA 2.12.1's addition to the agency's genomic sequencing.
The 'stealth' variant, as it was nicknamed because of its ability to avoid surveillance through less specific sequencing methods, had been the dominant strain for nearly two months after it overtook the original BA.1 version of the virus - which was responsible for the large scale winter Covid surges suffered by much of the world.
BA.1 now only makes up a fraction of a percentage of cases, almost entirely having been snuffed out by its sub-variants. The