BA.4, BA.5 account for 90% of US COVID-19 cases: 4 updates

The omicron "sister variants" BA.4 and BA.5 now account for more than 90 percent of confirmed cases in the U.S., according to the CDC's latest variant proportion estimates.

BA.5 accounted for about 77.9 percent of cases in the week ending July 16, while BA.4 made up 12.8 percent, the estimates show. 

BA.4 and BA.5 are now also dominant worldwide, accounting for 69 percent of all new cases, The Washington Post reported July 18.

Four more updates: 

1. The nation is reporting an average of 126,454 COVID-19 cases daily as of July 18, according to data from The New York Times. This figure is up 20 percent in the last 14 days, the Times data shows, and likely represents an undercount due to the popularity of at-home testing.

2. Despite the murky view of COVID-19 infection counts, experts say it's clear the U.S. is facing another COVID-19 wave. 

"You don't have to count every raindrop to know it’s raining," Joseph Kanter, MD, Louisiana’s state health officer and medical director, told The New York Times. "And it's pouring right now."

3. COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped 20 percent nationwide in the last two weeks, with the U.S. recording about 41,000 new admissions daily as of July 18, according to the Times.

4. Many health experts are urging caution, not alarm, amid the latest surge and say it's difficult to predict what the coming months will look like. Most have opted against implementing new virus restrictions until they have a better sense of whether rising infections will strain hospitals. 

"I feel strongly that you can't just kind of cry wolf all the time," Allison Arwady, MD, commissioner of the Chicago health department, told the Times. "I want to save the requirements around masks or updating vaccine requirements for when there’s a significant change."




Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars