Fauci says Covid is not over, expect uptick in cases due to BA.2 subvariant

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According to the country’s infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, the Covid-19 pandemic is not over, and the United States is soon likely to see an increase in cases due to the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron.

According to CNBC, Fauci stated that the BA.2 subvariant is estimated to account for about 25% to 30% of new cases in the US and could become the most dominant variant in the country.

While Fauci expects an increase in cases, he does not expect a massive increase as other variants have.

According to Fauci, who also serves as the White House’s chief medical advisor, the BA.2 subvariant is 50 to 60% more transmissible than Omicron but does not appear to be more severe.

“It does have increased transmission capability,” Fauci was quoted as saying on ABC News on Sunday.

“However, when you look at the cases, they do not appear to be any more severe and they do not appear to evade immune responses either from vaccines or prior infections.”

The variant has already caused an increase in cases in China and several parts of Europe, including the United Kingdom. Coronavirus vaccines and boosters, according to health officials, remain the best ways to prevent serious illness from the virus.

Other US health experts are also concerned about the emergence of the BA.2, sub-variant of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which has recently resulted in a significant increase in cases in the US.

The variant could cause a new spike in cases, but the country is in a better position now than it was two years ago, when Covid-19 “defined our lives,” according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who was quoted on Fox News on Sunday.

“We should be prepared, Covid hasn’t gone away. Our focus should be on preparation, not on panic.”

Scott Gottlieb, a board member of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer and a former FDA commissioner, said he also expects “some uptick” due to BA.2, but  “not a big wave of infection”.

“I think we’re going to continue to see low levels of infection through the summer. But before we get there, we’re probably going to see some tick-up of infection like the Europeans are seeing right now, maybe not as pronounced,” Gottlieb was quoted as saying on CBS.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States reported over 31,200 new Covid cases on Saturday, including 958 deaths.

However, both are significantly lower than at the start of the year, according to the report.


About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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