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Omicron subvariant BA.2 spreading rapidly in L.A. and across the nation
The percentage of Omicron subvariant BA.2 cases is rising in Los Angeles County, a trend seen elsewhere nationwide as officials sound the alarm about Congress’ failure to provide critical funding for vaccinations, tests and anti-COVID drugs.
Officials in L.A. County and nationally have warned about the risk to public health if new pandemic federal funding fails to be approved. There is no money left to reimburse doctors for COVID care for uninsured Americans, and funds will soon run out to provide vaccinations, Xavier Becerra, the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, said this week.
According to data released Thursday, 14.7% of coronavirus samples analyzed for L.A. County between Feb. 27 and March 5 were the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant. That’s more than double the previous week’s figure of 6.4%.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer continued to urge residents to adhere to the strong recommendation issued by her department and state health officials to continue masking in indoor public settings.
“Along with the increasing circulation of the more-infectious BA.2 subvariant, everyone, especially those who are at elevated risk or live with someone at elevated risk, should wear a high-quality mask and get vaccinated and boosted,” Ferrer said in a statement Thursday.
More recent national estimates have suggested BA.2 will quickly become dominant soon. BA.2 comprised an estimated 35% of analyzed samples between March 13 and March 19; the previous week, it made up 22%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the southwestern U.S. — which includes California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii — BA.2 made up an estimated 41% of coronavirus samples. The previous week, it was 28%. And for the first time, BA.2 is the now estimated to be the dominant subvariant in the Northeast, making up more than half the analyzed coronavirus cases in New York, New Jersey and New England…
Créditos: Comité científico Covid