Coronavirus Update: Omicron subvariant gains more ground in U.S. to account for 49.1% of new COVID cases, CDC data show

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Stock Market

The XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant that became dominant in the U.S. last week has gained more ground, according to data from the nation’s main health agency, accounting for 49.1% of new cases in the latest week, up from 43% a week ago. The subvariant is pulling further ahead of BQ.1.1 and BQ.1, the former dominant strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

BQ.1.1 accounted for 26.9% of new cases, down from 28.8% a week ago, while BQ.1 accounted for 13.3%, down from 15.9% a week ago. In the New York region, which includes New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, XBB.1.5 accounted for 86.8% of new cases, up from 82.7% a week ago. The World Health Organization has acknowledged that XBB.1.5, which was first detected in tiny numbers in the U.S. in October, has become the most transmissible variant yet thanks to a growth advantage. The agency said that it appears to have a greater ability to evade immunity than earlier variants.

In its weekly epidemiological update, the agency said the XBB line is one of four omicron subvariants that are showing transmission advantage over other circulating variants. The other three are BF.7, BQ.1 and BA.2.75. For now, the WHO said it has no additional data on XBB.1.5, but BA.2.75.2 is showing the most neutralization resistance to sera from vaccinated and COVID-infected patients. In the U.S., the seven-day average of new COVID cases stood at 50,839 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker. That’s down 20% from two weeks ago and below the recent peak of 70,508 on Christmas Eve. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 18% at 39,272. The average for deaths was 498, up 5% from two weeks ago.  Cases are rising in just six states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, a significant improvement from recent trends. On a per capita basis, Illinois now has the most cases at 31 per 100,000 residents, followed by Kentucky at 30 and Rhode Island at 27. See also: Americans are facing years of ‘tripledemic’ winters that may put patients with other ailments at risk, Jha says Coronavirus Update: M …

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