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San Diego researchers find Omicron sub-variant quickly becoming dominant strain in U.S.

Posted at 6:14 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 13:09:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - At the start of 2022 a new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, caused a significant spike in cases pretty much everywhere.

While cases of Omicron and overall cases are now on the decline, scientists are seeing a new subvariant of Omicron called BA.2 starting to pop up.

The San Diego based biotech company conducts genomic sequencing on virus samples.

According to their most recent data, BA.2, which was accounting for about 30 percent of cases just last week, is now the dominant strain in most parts of the country including California.

"And now we think it's between 50- 70 percent in many states in the U.S.," Alexandre Bolze, a senior staff scientist and infectious disease expert at Helix, said.

The San Mateo based biotech company conducts genomic sequencing on virus samples.

Bolze says right now the new strain appears very similar to the original.

"It seems a bit more transmissible, so more contagious, but there is currently no any evidence that it leads to different symptoms," Bolze said.

He says it's too soon to tell if we'll see another overall surge in cases like a few months ago, but tracking emerging variants and sub-variants is crucial to staying prepared to deal with COVID-19.

"Everyone that's working on treatment or vaccines is interested as soon as there's a new variant to understand how their vaccine or treatment works against that variant," he said.