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Omicron sweeps across the nation, now 73% of all US COVID-19 cases

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City dwellers line up around the property to receive a free rapid COVID-19 home test kit in Philadelphia, Monday, December 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NEW YORK (AP) – Omicron ran ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the US, accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday.

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the infection rate of omicrons increased nearly sixfold in just one week.

In most countries, the prevalence of omicrons is even higher. It causes an estimated 90% of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest.

Since the end of June, the delta variant has been the main version causing infections in the US. According to CDC data, as recently as late November, more than 99.5% of coronaviruses were deltas.

Scientists in Africa first sounded the alarm about the omicron less than a month ago, and on November 26, the World Health Organization designated it a “worrying variant.” Mutants have since appeared in about 90 countries.

Not much is known about the omicron variant, including whether it causes more or less severe disease. Early studies show that vaccinated people will need a booster shot to have the best chance of preventing omicron infection, but even without an additional dose, vaccination should still provide strong protection against omicron infection. serious illness and death.

“We all have an omicron date,” said Dr Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “If you’re going to be exposed to society, if you’re going to have any kind of lifestyle, omicrons are going to be what you’re going to have, and the best way you can come across this is to be fully vaccinated.”

Adalja said he was not surprised by CDC data showing omicrons crossing the delta in the US, compared with what was seen in South Africa, the UK and Denmark. He predicts the spread over the holidays, including sudden infections among vaccinated people and serious complications in unvaccinated people that could strain hospitals. already burdened in the delta.

CDC estimates are based on thousands of coronavirus samples collected each week through university and commercial labs as well as state and local health departments. Scientists analyzed their genetic sequences to determine which versions of the COVID-19 virus were most abundant.

For the week ending December 11, the rate of new infections of omicrons in the US increased to 2.9% from 0.4% the previous week, the CDC previously reported.

But the CDC on Tuesday said it was revising some of the earlier numbers, after analyzing more samples. The new numbers indicate that about 13% of infections in the week of December 11 were omicrons, not 3%, CDC officials said.

https://wgntv.com/news/coronavirus/omicron-sweeps-across-nation-now-73-of-us-covid-19-cases/ Omicron sweeps across the nation, now 73% of all US COVID-19 cases

CELINE CASTRONUOVO

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