Washington DC: With coronavirus cases rising in parts of Europe and Asia, scientists worry that an extra-contagious version of the omicron variant may soon push cases up in the United States too.
Experts are also keeping their eyes on another mutant: a rare delta-omicron hybrid that they say doesn’t pose much of a threat right now but shows how wily the coronavirus can be.
The U.S. will likely see an uptick in cases caused by the omicron descendant BA.2 starting in the next few weeks, according to Dr. Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute.
“It’s inevitable we will see a BA.2 wave here,” he said.
After about two months of falling COVID-19 cases, pandemic restrictions have been lifted across the U.S. Many people are taking off their masks and returning to indoor spaces like restaurants and theaters.
And the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the share caused by BA.2 is up significantly. The CDC reported Tuesday that the variant accounted for about 35 percent of new infections last week. In the Northeast, it was about half.