New data released by the CDC indicates that the number of COVID-19 cases is attributed to the BQ.1 and BQ1.1 variants. — dubbed the “escape variant” because COVID treatments may not be effective against them — are on the rise.
Because the week ending October 15, data showed that each variant accounts for 5.7% of each case in the country. Last week, the figures for BQ.1 and BQ1.1. are 3.3% and 2.4%, respectively.
Public health experts are concerned that the rapid growth of the two variants could mean an increase in COVID cases in the coming weeks and months.
In September, Cornelius Roemer, a computational biologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, write that BQ1.1 “will spur a wave of variants in Europe and North America before the end of November.”
Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and head of the COVID Task Force at the New England Complex Systems Institute, believes the updated COVID vaccine will provide protection against the BQ variant family because it is sourced derived from the sub-variant Omicron BA.5.
However, he added Monoclonal antibody treatments may not be effective against new variants. One Learn Chinese found that new variants can escape being affected by AstraZeneca’s (AZN) Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) and Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:ONLY) bebtelovimab.
“Our models predict a series of 5+ major mutated sub-variants that will cause an increase in COVID in mid to late November just in time for Thanksgiving, especially if we don’t boost the divalent. BA5”. Feigl-Ding wrote.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization warned that Europe may be entering a new wave of COVID.