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Rising BA.2

The BA.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 is expected to become the dominant viral variant in the US, ABC News reports.

Public health officials began keeping an eye on the variant, a subtype of Omicron, in January when it was found to be increasing in numbers in Denmark, India, and the UK. BA.2 is thought to be more infectious than Omicron, which is also known as BA.1, but cause similar disease severity.

According to Reuters, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that BA.2 currently makes up 23.1 percent of coronavirus variants in the country, though the agency notes it is more prevalent in certain regions, like the Northeast, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci tells ABC News that as BA.2 becomes more prevalent, COVID-19 cases are expected to rise. ABC News adds that a number of European countries have experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and Boston Children's Hospital's John Brownstein notes there that what occurs in Europe often presages what is to occur in the US.

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