By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the BA.2 variant of the coronavirus — but experts are unsure about what to make of it.
Driving the news: Experts recently told The Daily Beast that the new BA.2 COVID-19 variant has been confusing because it has dominated some countries while remaining mostly absent from other parts of the world.
- On March 29, the BA.2 coronavirus variant became the most dominant COVID-19 strain in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What they’re saying: “The bottom line is that it is not predictable what BA.2 will do,” John Swartzberg, a professor emeritus of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Public Health, told The Daily Beast.
- “Something different seems to be occurring,” Peter Hotez, an expert in vaccine development at Baylor College, told The Daily Beast.
- “BA.2 is going up everywhere in terms of percentage of virus isolated” in COVID-19 tests yet this translates into many different scenarios in terms of rise in cases.”
The bigger picture: COVID-19 cases are still spreading across the world. China has had to contend with new coronavirus subtypes — including new mutations of the omicron variant, per Bloomberg — as the United Kingdom has had to battle omicron XE, a hybrid version of two omicron variant mutations.