The omicron coronavirus subvariant BA.5 is hurtling toward complete domination in the US, now accounting for an estimated 78 percent of the country’s cases—which are also on the rise.
The breakneck takeover is stunning, with BA.5 showing a significant growth advantage over all other lineages and sublineages. In the US, that seems to include BA.4, which shares the same spike protein mutations but has differing mutations elsewhere in its genome.
At the start of June, BA.5 accounted for less than 10 percent of cases, with BA.4 lagging slightly, accounting for an estimated 6.4 percent. Since then, BA.5 has blasted ahead to 78 percent, while BA.4 peaked at 14.4 percent early in July and has now declined to 12.8 percent.