This is what you need to know about it.

The Omicron subvariant, known as BA.2, is expected to dominate the United States in the coming weeks.

BA.2 is At least 30% highly contagious It is superior to cousin BA.1 and is causing a surge in the new COVID-19 in the UK and other European countries.according to World Health Organization (WHO) reportHighly contagious subvariants dominate cases worldwide, accounting for about 86% of the cases reported to WHO between February 16 and March 17 this year.

In Hong Kong, BA.2 recently brought about a deadly outbreak reminiscent of the early days of a pandemic.

Throughout the European Union, new daily cases have increased by more than 70% since the beginning of March. Hospitalization in the UK is also increasing.

A row of three patients is lying in bed in a hospital setting.

On March 4, a patient is lying in a bed outside the accident emergency ward at United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of Marc Fernandes / NuPhoto, via Getty Images)

So far, BA.2 accounts for 35% of new coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US health officials expect the strain to outperform other variants and soon become dominant. However, there are some encouraging signs that BA.2 may not hit the United States as much as Europe, and US health experts do not anticipate a major surge in cases from the Omicron subvariety.

“The number of cases is likely to increase, as seen in European countries, especially in the United Kingdom,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor of the White House, told ABC “this week.” “Hopefully, you won’t see a surge. I don’t think it will.”

BA.2 appears to be more infectious than BA.1 and is becoming established in the United States, but does not prevent the country’s declining trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“Currently, in the United States, despite the increased advantage of BA.2 over BA.1, the case rate is still declining,” said Dr. Lucy McBride, a medical contributor to Yahoo News. I am saying. “Because of the widespread vaccination and some immunity to past infections … there are fewer deaths and hospitalizations, and overall it’s much better than it was a month ago.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks in front of the White House seal.

Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses variants of the Omicron coronavirus at the White House press conference on December 1 (Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarck)

So far, there are no signs that BA.2 causes a more serious disease overall than its predecessor, Delta. Another advantage, according to McBride, is that the vaccines available continue to play an excellent role in protecting against severe illness and death.

“For now, it’s very important to be vaccinated, especially if you’re not vaccinated. Whether it’s this variant or the next, we’re all at some point coronavirus. And you would rather be armed with antibodies and immunity from vaccination, “McBride said.

People targeted for booster shots, especially those at high risk due to older age or basic health, should consider additional doses as they have much higher protection against Omicron than two doses. ..

People will pass the COVID-19 Vaccination Center in Brent, London North West, UK, on ​​January 28, 2022.  A new form of Omicron named BA.2 has been designated.

People pass the COVID-19 Vaccination Center in Brent, London North West, UK, on ​​January 28, 2022. A new form of Omicron named BA.2 has been designated as a “mutant under investigation” and there are 426 Omicron variants. UK A confirmed sub-strain in the UK, the UK Health and Security Agency UKHSA said Friday. (Photo by Reitan / Xinhua via Getty Images)

McBride’s claim is Recent UK data 70% of BA.2 and 63% of BA.1 showed booster immunity to symptomatic COVID-19 infection. According to the same study, those who received boosters and those over the age of 50 had 95% protection against death from Omicron infection.

But what if you are already infected with Omicron BA.1.Some recent Studies have shown that previous infections with the BA.1 version of the Omicron coronavirus mutant provide strong protection against its relative BA.2... However, McBride says it’s worth consulting with your GP about getting the complete vaccine series based on age, underlying health, profession, and immune status.

“Once vaccinated, I removed my nails and fangs from the virus. You turned it into a more manageable illness, and while they weren’t zero, they could be terribly ill and long-term. The chances of getting results are dramatically reduced, “she said.