Updated by Nakayima Ritah at 0029 EAT on 09 April 2022.
In the latest battle of the coronavirus mutants, an extra-contagious version of omicron has taken over the world.
The coronavirus version known as BA.2 is now dominant in at least 68 countries, including the United States.
The World Health Organization says it makes up about 94% of sequenced omicron cases submitted to an international coronavirus database in the most recent week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it was responsible for 72% of new U.S. infections last week.
Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist in Texas, said he’s seen BA.2 quickly become dominant in his medical system. At the end of last week, the variant was responsible for more than three-quarters of cases in Houston Methodist hospitals. Less than two weeks earlier, 1% to 3% of cases were caused by BA.2.
“It’s not terribly surprising because it is more contagious” than the original omicron, Long said.