Omicron BA.2 subvariant is more contagious and can reinfect people

2022-02-27 15:23:40      View:

A more contagious subvariant of omicron, known as BA.2, is spreading across the globe and could soon become the dominant version of Covid-19.

It's now the top variant in at least 18 countries and rapidly spreading, representing 35% of all new cases that have been genetically sequenced worldwide, up from 10 countries and 21% of cases the week before, according to new data from the World Health Organization. In the U.S, BA.2 currently makes up 3.8% of genetically sequenced Covid cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A pandemic-weary public wants to know two main things: Will BA.2 cause a second surge of omicron cases, and will it put even more people in the hospital with severe infections? So far, scientists say the answer to both questions is probably no.

However, Danish scientists confirmed this week that the new subvariant can reinfect people who've previously had omicron, although it doesn't appear to be all that common. They also agree that it's more contagious than the original version of omicron, BA.1, which is still widely circulating around the world.