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BA.2 variant raising concerns about second surge in COVID cases

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CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A new COVID variant is raising concerns about a second surge in COVID cases. Right now about 25% of COVID cases in the United States are the new BA.2 variant.

BA.2 is a subvariant of Omicron. An Atrium doctor said it’s slightly more transmissible than Omicron but very similar in severity. The doctor said hospitalizations are not going up.

State health officials said Thursday that based on data and sampling from blood donations that almost all North Carolinians, 94.3%, have some level of immunity to COVID, either through natural immunity, prior infection or vaccination, or both.

“If there is a high amount of immunity either through vaccination or natural infection, it definitely puts us at an advantage, I think the surges could be shorter, and the severity of illness could be lower, but again it is dependent on the type of variant that may occur, so I don’t think we’d be able to completely predict that,” said Dr. Anu Neelakanta.

State health officials don’t know when BA.2 will become the dominant strain in the United States, but they said we tend to be four to six weeks behind Europe.



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