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Rise of BA.5

The Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US, the New York Times reports. However, it notes that decreased tracking by the states has made the picture of the virus in the country more difficult to parse.

Based on modeling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that BA.5 is behind 53.6 percent of COVID-19 cases in the US, while BA.4 accounts for 16.5 percent and BA.2.12.1 for 27.2 percent. In late May and early June, BA.2.12.1 accounted for about 60 percent of cases.

The Times notes that earlier in the pandemic, most states reported daily or five-days-a-week case numbers but now may report numbers once or twice a week. At the same time, more US adults are relying on home testing, the results of which may not be included in the reported numbers. According to the Times, this decrease in reporting may mean a delay in determining the virus's trajectory.

Still, the Times notes that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky pointed out a late June conference that "[o]ne of my favorite lines from somebody at the CDC was 'You don't need to count the raindrops to know how hard it's raining.'"

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