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New subvariants are driving an increase in COVID-19 cases in Virginia


For the first time since February Virginia positive rate — The rate at which laboratory-tested COVID-19 samples return positive — is over 10% as new infections continue to increase across the state.

According to experts, the increase in cases reflecting national trends is caused by more infectious subvariants of the already infectious Omicron strain. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Almost 99 percent The rate of new infections in the six provinces, including Virginia, is caused by the recently detected viral variation BA.2 or BA.2.12.1.

BA.2 is Increased infectivity by 30-60% BA.2.12.1 is more available than the original Omicron variant 25% improvement in infectivity According to the CDC, than BA.2.

The continued emergence of new variants is a concern for infectious disease professionals for a month and after calm if very needed. Virginia’s COVID-19 infection peaked in history in mid-January, but soon began to decline sharply. According to the data From the state health ministry. March and April showed some of the lowest case rates since the pandemic began.

However, epidemiologists are still uncertain whether the state has experienced the last major surge. There is no evidence that new submutants cause more serious illnesses, but their increased infectivity is partly due to the mysterious ability to circumvent the defenses provided by vaccines and previous infections. increase.that’s why Most of the country There is some immunization from immunization and / or previous Omicron cases, but it may not be sufficient to prevent the spread of new cases.

Dr. Bill Petri, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Virginia, said: “It’s rubber meeting the road — it’s real-world evidence that vaccines aren’t optimally protected. Today there’s an immune gap that wasn’t there a month ago.”


..(Virginia Mercury)

Virginia Mercury is a non-partisan, non-profit news organization that covers Virginia’s government and policies.

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