BA.5 Omicron Variant on Spread

COVID-19 cases are rising as the BA.5 Omicron variant puts more people in the hospital amid high rates of reinfection.

ED YONG: So, BA.5 is the latest version of the Omicron family of variants to hit the U.S. It is displacing its predecessor, BA.2, and it is indeed causing a surge. BA.5’s most important property is its ability to sneak past some of the immune defenses acquired by people either who have been vaccinated before or who have experienced — who have been infected by earlier variants. And that means that everyone is now a little less protected than they were a few months ago. Some people who have even recently been infected are getting infected again. Now, this doesn’t mean that previous immunity is back down to zero — far from it. People who have some degree of immunity, from past infection or vaccination, still have some protection against infection even from BA.5, but it’s less than before, which is why we’re seeing more reinfections now than before.

The good news is that the most severe outcomes, things like being sick enough to warrant an intubator, needing oxygen and, of course, dying, the vaccines do seem to still be protecting against those. But it’s still important to prevent infections. I think that a lot of this country, including its highest political echelons, have seemed to have forgotten that basic goal. Preventing infections is really important for preventing long COVID, for sparing the healthcare system, for all this and more. And because of that, BA.

— source | Jul 14, 2022

Nullius in verba


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