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COVID cases dropping but new variant is coming

[KSTP-TV News, March 28, 2022] New cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 are at its lowest point in a year, but a new variant, BA.2 is taking over from the BA.1 variant of Omicron that caused the large, recent surge..

“It’s very encouraging the number of cases in the hospital is going down substantially. It’s almost as low as it was between the two peaks,” said Dr. Frank Rhame, an infectious disease specialist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

He stressed the vaccine remains important even though cases have been declining since mid-January.

“Omicron did something new than Delta, it could break through past infections and it could break through vaccines,” Rhame said. “BA.2 and BA.1 variant are good at breaking through past immunity, and so that’s why actually for the omicron variant you really need a third dose to maximize your protection.”

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the BA.2 variant now represents about 30% of cases in Minnesota.

“We know it’s more infectious and that’s easy to tell because it’s replacing BA.1,” Rhame said. “We don’t really know fully yet what the BA.2 is going to do, and a lot of people are worried about that. I’m worried about that.”

Posted on March 29, 2022 in coronavirusVaccine

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