What to know about new omicron variant, according to a Cleveland doctor

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 12:15 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The United States is seeing more of the latest COVID-19 variant, an offshoot of the highly contagious omicron variant.

The original omicron, known as BA.1, has changed its genetic makeup enough to now be classified as BA.2.

19 News caught up with Dr. Keith Armitage, Director of University Hopsitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health, on Monday afternoon to hear an explanation of what this new variant means.

According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, BA.2 made up 23% of the latest new cases for the week ending on March 12.

That’s compared to just 2.6% of cases a month earlier on Feb. 12.

Early indications are that BA.2 is more contagious that the previous version of omicron, but health officials are still monitoring if it will make people sicker.

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