Facebook Twitter

Omicron BA.2 to become dominant worldwide, WHO says

The subvariant of the omicron variant may dominate the world soon enough

SHARE Omicron BA.2 to become dominant worldwide, WHO says
An image of the omicron variant.

The subvariant of the omicron variant may dominate the world soon enough, the WHO believes.

Illustration by Zoe Peterson, Deseret News

The omicron variant’s subvariant BA.2 is likely to become the most dominant variant in the world, The Jerusalem Post reports.

What’s going on: Dr. Dorit Nitzan, regional emergency director for the WHO, told The Jerusalem Post that the subvariant of the omicron variant has a pretty strong trajectory and that it will spread quickly throughout the world.

Why it matters: There are signs that the coronavirus omicron variant wave might be dipping, but that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is going away anytime soon with these fast-spreading subvariants.

  • Some countries haven't seen a peak yet, either, according to Reuters.

What she said: “The expected trajectory is that it will become the new dominant variant, as once it crosses past a certain threshold it becomes dominant — like we’re seeing in Denmark and the U.K.,” Nitzan said.

  • “It moves from person to person much faster,” she explained. “If you’re with someone in a room who has the virus, you will get it. The moment you take your mask off to drink and eat — you never know when you’ll get it. We can see this in Denmark, it moves so quickly.”

Yes, but: There does not seem to be any risk for the BA.2 subvariant to reinfect people who had the omicron variant, she said.

The bigger picture: The World Health Organization said last week that it is watching the BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3 variations of the omicron variant right now, all of which fall under the wider omicron variant umbrella, as I reported for the Deseret News.

  • “This virus is dangerous, and it continues to evolve before our very eyes,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, according to Deadline. “WHO is currently tracking four sublineages of the omicron variant of concern, including BA.2.”