As you gear up for the July 4th weekend, here are the top 3 viral surveillance takeaways we’re seeing from our dashboard and additional analyses:
1. Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 are Ascending Quickly: BA.4 and BA.5 are now at ~50% of cases nationwide (up from 20% two weeks ago),while BA.2.12.1 has declined to only 27% (from 56% earlier). We expect this trend to continue throughout the summer, with a surge in cases dominated by BA.4 / BA.5, as seen in other countries.
2. Cases Overall are Rising but Not in School Age Children: As summer break began in May, positive COVID cases were seeing a pronounced decline amongst those under 18 years old (which may in part explain why we saw wastewater rates flattening two weeks ago). But overall, cases are now rising in nearly all age groups, except for school age children.
3. Is BA.2.75 the Next Variant to Watch? BA.2.75 is starting to make waves as it has several spike mutations and has now been seen in India, England, Germany and many other countries. We have not seen BA.2.75 in any of the U.S. cases we’re sequencing yet but will let you know as soon as we do.
What’s the Bottom Line? Stay safe this long weekend as BA.4 and BA.5 have yet to peak in the U.S. and are reaching dominance quickly.