BQ.1 + BQ.1.1 make up 35% of US cases: 10 CDC findings

Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 — dubbed 'escape variants' for their immune evasiveness — now account for more than a third of U.S. COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker weekly review published Nov. 4

Ten findings:

Variants

1. Based on projections for the week ending Nov. 5, the CDC estimates that BQ.1 accounts for 16.5 percent of cases, while BQ.1.1 accounts for 18.8 percent.

2. BA. 5 remains the nation's dominant strain, accounting for 39.2 percent of infections. BF.7, another omicron subvariant experts are closely monitoring, makes up 9 percent of cases. Other omicron subvariants make up the rest. 

Cases

3. As of Nov. 2, the nation's seven-day case average was 39,016, a 4.7 percent increase from the previous week's average. This marks the first week of increase seen in more than three months, CDC data shows.

Hospitalizations

4. The seven-day hospitalization average for Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 was 3,272, a 1 percent decrease from the previous week's average. 

Community levels 

5. As of Nov. 3, 2 percent of counties, districts or territories had high COVID-19 community levels, 20.1 percent had medium community levels and 77.5 percent had low community levels. 

Deaths

6. The current seven-day death average is 358, down 3 percent from the previous week's average. Some historical deaths have been excluded from these counts, the CDC said. 

Vaccinations

7. As of Nov. 2, about 266.4 million people — 80.2 percent of the U.S. population — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 227.4 million people, or 68.5 percent of the population, have received both doses. 

8. About 112.5 million people have received a booster dose, and more than 26.4 million people have received an updated omicron booster. However, 49.1 percent of people eligible for a booster dose have not yet gotten one, the CDC said.

Wastewater surveillance 

9. About 38 percent of the U.S. is reporting moderate to high virus levels in wastewater. Of these surveillance sites, 12 percent are seeing some of the highest levels since Dec. 1, 2021. 

10. About 58 percent of sites are reporting an increase in virus levels, and 33 percent of sites are seeing a decrease.

 

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