WHO: BA.5 now dominant globally

Africa, America, Asia, Australasia, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA.4, BA.5, Deaths, Europe, Health, Infection, Omicron, Research, Transmission, USA, Vaccine, Vaccine Breakthrough, Vaccine Waning

As of epidemiological week 24, BA.5 represents 43% of global sequences at Gisaid, BA.2 represents 25%, BA.4 represents 12%, and BA.2.12.1 represents 11%.

Geographic spread and prevalence of VOCs:

There continues to be a decline in the number of SARS-CoV-2 sequences submitted to GISAID, as compared to January 2022 when 1 248,906 sequences were submitted. From 27 May to 27 June 2022, 146,183 SARS-CoV-2 sequences were submitted to GISAID.

Among these sequences, the Omicron VOC remains the dominant variant circulating globally, accounting for 94% of sequences reported in the past 30 days. Among Omicron sequences, as of epidemiological week 24 (13 to 19 June 2022) BA.2 represents 25%, while BA.2.12.1 represents 11%, BA.4 represents 12%, and BA.5 represents 43%.

Comparing the proportion of Omicron sequences submitted during epidemiological weeks 23 (6 to 12 June) and 24, BA.2 declined from 30% to 25%, BA.2.12.1 declined from 18% to 11%, while BA.4 increased from 9% to 12% and BA.5 increased from 28% to 43%.

Globally, the number of weekly cases has increased for the third consecutive week, after a declining trend since the last peak in March 2022. During the week of 20 to 26 June 2022, over 4.1 million new cases were reported, an 18% increase as compared to the previous week (Figure 1). The number of new weekly deaths remained similar to that of the previous week, with over 8500 fatalities reported.

At the regional level, the number of new weekly cases increased in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (+47%), the European Region (+33%), the South-East Asia Region (+32%), and the Region of the Americas (+14%), while it decreased in the African Region (-39%) and the Western Pacific Region (-3%).

The number of new weekly deaths increased in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (+22%), the South-East Asia Region (+15%), and the Region of the Americas (+11%), while decreases were observed in the Western Pacific Region (-6%), the European Region (-5%) and the African Region (-1%).

The highest numbers of new weekly deaths were reported from the United States of America (1997 new deaths; -2%), Brazil (1313 new deaths; +37%), China (925 new deaths; -11%), the Russian Federation (429 new deaths; -3%), and Italy (355 new deaths; +5%).




WHO Weekly epidemiological update, edition 98, published 29 June 2022 



New subvariant of Omicron BA.5 designated BE.1





** This post was originally published on June 30, 2022 **