Omicron sub-variant BA.2 is now the dominant strain in the US, making up over 70 percent of the COVID cases in the country, said the Centre for Disease Control on Monday, 4 April.
According to the US CDC's latest report, the variant only made up about 57 percent of the COVID cases in the US in the previous week, reported Reuters.
BA.2, also known as the 'stealth variant' is known to be more transmissible than previous COVID variants, including the original Omicron strain (BA.1).
The variant now makes up about 86 percent of the world's COVID cases, according to data from the WHO.
What to Know About BA.2
Here is a quick refresher to get you up to speed on what we know about the variant so far.
BA.2 is a sub-variant of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
BA.2 has some major mutations in spite of being closely related to the previously dominant Omicron strain (BA.1).
BA.2 doesn't have the missing target gene that was used to identify the original Omicron strain, making it more difficult to detect.
As a result, people infected with BA.2 are likely to not test positive in PCR tests.
Based on the curve of the COVID case count in the world right now, experts say BA.2 is inherently more transmissible than BA.1, according to the WHO.
The sub-variant's place of origin is unknown.
According to the WHO, the sub-variant of Omicron is to be treated as a variant of concern—same as the original Omicron strain.
(Written with inputs from Reuters and IANS.)