New Omicron Subvariant BA.2.12.1. Spreading In A Large Chunk Of US

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A new omicron subvariant that is spreading in a large chunk of the United States is poised to take over BA.2 as the dominant strain circulating in the country, according to White House COVID-?19 Response Team.

The new strain, BA.2.12.1., "is more contagious with more immune escape, and they are driving a lot of the increases in infection that we're seeing across the nation right now", White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha said at a routine news conference Wednesday.

Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci said the gradual evolution of one particular variant overtaking another is because of the virus's increased transmissibility and human being's waning immunity to both protection and/or vaccination.

CDC director Dr.Rochelle Walensky said the current seven-day daily average of cases nationally is about 94,000 cases per day, an increase of about 26 percent over the previous week and a threefold increase over the last month.

Similarly, hospital admissions are also increasing, but remain much lower than they were during the Omicron surge. The seven-day average of hospital admissions now is about 3,000 per day, and that's an increase of about 19 percent over the previous week.

"And while deaths remain low, we are still seeing a tragic seven-day average of daily deaths at about 275 per day," she told reporters.

Positive cases were trending at the highest levels seen since late November as many people are not following mitigation measures like mask-wearing and concerns over getting infected are declining.

Dr. Fauci said the official data of Covid metrics is undercount and actual number of cases are higher because of the situation with regard to positive results in home tests that people may not be reporting.

The United States on Wednesday reported the highest daily toll in positive cases in recent months, crossing the dreaded 200,000 mark.

With 208383 new cases reporting,, the total number of people infected with the killer bug in the country has risen to 82,955,985.

With 945 additional Covid deaths, the total U.S. Covid casualties reached 1,001,274, as per Johns Hopkins University's latest data.

Michigan reported the most number of cases - 23,144 - while Georgia recorded most casualties - 69.

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