More contagious Omicron variant picks up the pace in Wisconsin

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With the month nearly over, Wisconsin COVID-19 data indicate the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2 is picking up its pace in the state.

The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene reports a quarter (145 cases) of the COVID-19 cases tested for variant strains in March were BA.2, a subvariant of Omicron. Around 15%, or 92 cases detected, were that of BA.1.

BA.2 or “stealth omicron” is currently the dominant version of COVID-19 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Up until now, BA.1 has been the more highly reported in Wisconsin between the two strains. At its peak in January, the BA.1 strain made up 60% (2,982 cases) of the total cases tested that month for variant strains.

There have been 11,173 cases of the Omicron variant identified in Wisconsin since December, with 644 of them being identified in the past 30 days.

Data from March 29, 2022 comparing the different strains of the Omicron variant that have been...
Data from March 29, 2022 comparing the different strains of the Omicron variant that have been identified in Wisconsin(Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene)

In a data update from Public Health Madison and Dane County released last week, it noted Omicron is currently the most prevalent virus strain in both the county and state.

PHMDC explained that the majority of omicron lineages so far have been BA.1, but BA.2 is increasing in prevalence.

BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1, but PHMDC noted the difference between transmissibility is much smaller than that between BA.1 and the Delta strain of the virus.

According to the state laboratory, the total number of Delta strains detected outnumber Omicron by almost 2.5 times in Wisconsin.

The Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday confirms 401 new cases Tuesday of the virus, driving the seven-day rolling average up slightly to 327.

The rolling average is half the size of what it was four weeks ago and 15 times fewer than what it was two months ago.

There have been 1,392,100 COVID-19 cases reported in Wisconsin since the start of the pandemic.

Three people have died in the past 30 days in Wisconsin from COVID-19 or complications of the virus, DHS added Tuesday, noting 12,781 Wisconsinites have died in all.

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