New York health officials are sounding the alarm over a new COVID variant that's spreading faster than any other during the pandemic.

Omicron subvariant BA.5 subvariant is now the dominant COVID strain in New York State and the United States. Health officials believe this is the "worst version" of omicron.

'Worst Version' of COVID Is Spreading Across Hudson Valley, New York State

CDC
CDC
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Researchers are worried about the latest Omicron subvariant because they have learned the BA.5 subvariant appears to be the most infectious strain. Health officials say this subvariant appears to be better at evading immunity from vaccines and previous infections.


COVID Cases Skyrockting in Mid-Hudson Region in New York's Hudson Valley

IvelinRadkov
IvelinRadkov
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Varma appears to be right as COVID numbers have nearly doubled in the Mid-Hudson Region and New York State in the past week.

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Currently, the average seven-day infection rate in the Mid-Huson Region is just under 8.4 percent. At this time one week ago, that infection rate was slightly 4.5 percent.

The BA.5 subvariant is now responsible for 54 percent of all new cases in the United States. Last month it made up less than 10 percent of new cases. This is causing health officials to sound the alarm because this new subvariant is spreading faster than any other during the pandemic.

New Yorkers Told To Get Vaccinated, Wears Masks

Michele Ursi
Michele Ursi
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New Yorkers are once again being urged to protect themselves and others from the illness by being vaccinated, getting their booster shots and wearing a mask indoors.

"As we continue to monitor the numbers, I encourage all New Yorkers to keep using the tools we know that work to protect against and treat COVID-19," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Thursday. "Stay up to date on your vaccine and booster doses. If you're a parent or guardian, talk to your pediatrician about getting your children vaccinated. Stay home if you feel sick and if you do test positive, talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you."

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