Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert talks about BA.5 omicron variant of COVID-19

The BA.5 omicron variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S., and it is leading to a new wave of COVID-19 infections. BA.5 was responsible for nearly 54% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and BA.4, a similar variant, accounted for another 17%, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group stated to KAUS News that he’s concerned because this particular variant appears to be good at evading the immune system….

Dr. Poland explained that the transmissibility of BA.5 represents the evolution of the virus to become more contagious and able to evade immune protection from previous infection or vaccination….

Due to the consequences of reinfection, including the possibility of long COVID-19, Dr. Poland urges people to continue to take precautions to protect themselves….

The Minnesota Department of Health reported that at last word, Mower County is in the medium COVID-19 community level with 61 cases in the county at last word, and a case rate of 152.36 per 100,000 population.  Mower County also saw a new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population of 13.4, and the percentage of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 in Mower County currently stands at 2.7.  Officials with the Department of Health added that, at last word in Mower County, 26,708, or 66.7% of the county’s population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 25,213, or 62.9% of the county’s population have received both doses to complete their vaccination series, and 14,722 residents of the county have received a first booster dose.