Los Angeles County Public Well being officers introduced right now that the county of 10 million individuals had lastly begun to expertise a development that has already hit many elements of the USA: a fast rise within the variety of Covid circumstances attributed to the extra transmissible Omicron BA.2 variant.
Per L.A. County:
Though the present sequencing pattern represents a small fraction of all circumstances, it signifies that between February 27- March 5, 14.7% of sequenced circumstances have been the BA.2 Omicron sub-lineage in LA County. This is a rise from 6.4% of sequenced circumstances within the prior week.
Simply final week, the county’s director of Public Well being, Barbara Ferrer, described the will increase in BA.2 as “a gradual progress.” Issues appear to have modified. The ascent from 6.4% of sequenced circumstances to 14.7% means an total 129.68% enhance within the variant. By virtually any measure, that’s not gradual progress.
Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed concern on Sunday that the fast rise in circumstances in Europe, which was preceeded by a fast rise in BA.2 sequences, might grow to be the sample stateside.
“We’re carefully monitoring the knowledge from Europe, as patterns seen in Britain, specifically, are traditionally seen within the U.S. a number of weeks later,” stated Ferrer final week.
“It’s difficult to tease out the position of BA.2 within the growing case counts in Europe. BA.2 arrived in every go these international locations at a unique time, however the rising case counts are taking place at an identical time throughout most of Europe, which could recommend that the circulation of BA.2 in these different international locations is just not the one think about growing case counts,” she continued. “The growing case counts got here shortly after rescinding many public well being measures that have been designed to restrict Covid-19 transmission in lots of of those international locations. And it additionally is occurring at a time that could be influenced however the potential waning of safety supplied by the vaccines.”
If Ferrer’s analysis is right it might not matter, since almost all Stateside restrictions have now additionally been lifted.
Numbers launched Tuesday by the CDC point out that the share of recent Covid circumstances throughout the USA tied to BA.2 has jumped from 23% in early March to 35% this week. On the optimistic facet, which means the speed of enhance has slowed from two 100% jumps over the earlier month to rather less than 50% previously two weeks. It has hit some areas earlier — and more durable — than others.
In a single swath of the area that features Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey and has a inhabitants of about 41 million individuals, BA.2 as of Tuesday accounted from 51% of all new circumstances throughout the latest two-week interval. Within the earlier 14 days, it accounted for slightly over 38%.
Within the northeastern area comprised of Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine, which has a inhabitants near 14 million, BA.2 has risen to 55% of all new circumstances, per the CDC.