Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2022. 9:00 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Tuesday, health officials in the United States warned that the surge in COVID-19 cases is being driven by the highly infectious Omicron subvariant BA.5, Yahoo reports.
Officials continue to urge the public to take preventative measures like getting vaccinated and antiviral treatments to avoid getting seriously ill.
“We can prevent serious illness. We can save lives and we can minimize disruptions caused by COVID-19,” Dr. Ashish Jha, coordinator of the White House’s COVID-19 response said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the BA.5 subvariant now accounts for 65% of current COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that this BA.5 “substantially evades neutralizing antibodies” including those who are vaccinated and those with antibodies.
Dr. Fauci urged the public to get vaccinated to avoid being hospitalized.
Scientists noted that this new subvariant has mutations and makes it better at dodging any immune defenses that we have.
“We do know [BA.5] to be more transmissible and more immune-evading,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness confirmed the presence of the omicron BA.5 subvariant in Belize.
The public is advised to use a well-fitted face mask, especially in crowded indoor areas, and practice regular hand washing and sanitization.
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