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Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Scientists worry the BA.2 variant may push up the number of COVID cases in the U.S.

ba2 varient basketball fans.jpeg
AP
Fans storm the court at the conclusion of a college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., on Sunday, March 6, 2022. After about two months of falling COVID-19 cases, pandemic restrictions have been lifted across the U.S., and many people are taking off their masks and returning to indoor spaces.

The CDC reported that the variant accounted for about 35% of new infections last week.

Scientists worry that a contagious coronavirus variant may soon push up case numbers in the United States just as it has in Europe and Asia.

One reason? After about two months of falling cases in the U.S., COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted across the nation. People are taking off their masks and returning to indoor spaces. At the same time, immunity from vaccines is waning and the amount of the variant called BA.2 is rising in the U.S.

The CDC reported Tuesday that the variant accounted for about 35% of new infections last week. In the Northeast, it was about half.

Experts are also monitoring another variant: a rare delta-omicron hybrid that they say is not posing much of a threat at this point. But its creation gives scientists insight into how and why the COVID-19 virus changes so quickly.

One reason this variant has gained ground, scientists say, is that it’s about 30% more contagious than the original omicron. In rare cases, research shows it can sicken people even if they’ve already had an omicron infection — although it doesn’t seem to cause more severe disease.

Vaccines appear just as effective against both types of omicron, but breakthrough infections are possible.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.