Tuesday, November 1, 2022

New variants drive up COVID-19 infections in US - China.org.cn

The COVID-19 cases caused by new variants are growing fast in the United States, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two new variants, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, have been growing especially fast. At the beginning of October, each one accounted for about 1 percent of new infections in the United States, but they have been roughly doubling in prevalence each week.

According to the latest CDC data, BQ.1 led to about 14 percent of new infections in the country in the week ending Oct. 29, while BQ.1.1 caused 13.1 percent of new infections.

Together, the two variants accounted for more than one in four new COVID-19 infections nationwide, CDC data showed.

BA.5, which has dominated COVID-19 infections in the United States since July, now accounted for 49.6 percent of new infections in the country.

A host of new sublineages -- offshoots of BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 -- are now responsible for the majority of new infections in the United States.

These variants are slightly different from each other, but they all carry some of the same key mutations that help them skirt immunity from vaccines and past infections. This makes them more likely to lead to breakthrough infections and reinfections, according to experts.

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