Updated Mar 22, 2022 - Health

CDC says Omicron subvariant accounts for 35% of all COVID variants in U.S.

Omicron BA.2

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron makes up over a third of COVID-19 variants in the U.S., according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: While COVID has receded sharply since January, the BA.2 subvariant has caused a resurgence in COVID cases in Asia and Europe.

The BA.2 variant is believed to be more transmissible than the original Omicron strain, but it may not cause more severe disease than the original strain, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

By the numbers: The BA.2 subvariant made up 34.9% of the COVID mutations in the week that ended March 19, per the CDC.

  • The BA 1.1 subvariant of Omicron makes up 57.3% of all cases while the B.1.1.529 subvariant of Omicron makes up 7.9% of all cases.
  • The CDC estimates that BA.2 made up 22.3% circulating variants in the U.S. for the week ending March 12. This figure was revised down from 23.1%, according to a CDC model that estimates proportions of circulating variants.

Go deeper: America's rapid — yet unequal — pandemic off-ramp

Go deeper