Director of Clinical Virology Lab at Mayo Clinic discusses BA.5 and BA 2.75 omicron variants

COVID-19 infections in the U.S. continue to rise, with omicron BA.5 causing an estimated 82% of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It may be the most dominant strain, but it’s not the only one public health officials are monitoring. Omicron is a variant of COVID-19. BA.5 and BA.2.75 refer to as sub variants or strains of omicron. Variant basically means a mutation that occurs in the virus over time.  Dr. Matthew Binnicker, Director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic spoke with KAUS News and talked about why BA.5 has become so prevalent in the United States…


 

Dr. Binnicker went on to talk about the COVID-19 subvariant known as BA.2.75, which is also being monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC…

Since it was detected in India in May, cases of BA.2.75 have been reported in more than a dozen countries.  Dr. Binnicker says this strain is causing a low number of infections in the U.S., but that could change over the coming weeks or months. Most illnesses and hospitalizations from COVID-19 infection are from the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.  Dr. Binnicker was asked how the BA.2.75 subvariant affects people…

Looking ahead as children across Minnesota ready for the return to the classroom, Dr. Binnicker says it’s going to be important to keep an eye on the rate of infection…

Dr. Binnicker stated that vaccination against COVID-19 is still the best way to reduce infections, hospitalizations and deaths….

The Minnesota Department of Health reported that at last word, Mower County is in the medium COVID-19 community level with 49 cases in the county, and a case rate of 122.31 per 100,000 population.  Mower County also saw a new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population of 10.3, and the percentage of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 in Mower County currently stands at 2.4%.  Officials with the Department of Health added that, at last word in Mower County, 26,773, or 66.8% of the county’s population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 25,244 or 63% of the county’s population have received both doses to complete their vaccination series, and 14,806 residents of the county have received a first booster dose.  

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