New omicron subvariants accounted for more cases in New York area last week than BA.5, CDC data shows

The omicron sublines named BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 continued to spread in the United States during the week of October 29, accounting for 27.1% of new cases nationwide, according to Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The two accounted for 42.5% of all cases in the New York area, which includes New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, down from 37% the previous week. That was more than the BA.5 omicron subvariant, which accounted for 35.7% of new cases in the New York area over the past week.

The BA.5 omicron subvariant accounted for 49.6% of all cases in the United States, according to the data.

BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 were included in the BA.5 variant data just three weeks ago because their numbers were too small to break out. BQ.1 was first identified by researchers in early September and has been found in the UK and Germany, among other places.

Last week, the World Health Organization said that BQ.1 and another subline called XBB do not appear to have immune escape mutations that warrant designation as variants of concern. However, BA.5 is still a worrying variant that is being watched closelysaid a statement from the WHO Technical Advisory Group on the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Workers at a manufacturing plant who assemble Apple Inc.’s AAPL,
The iPhone in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou appears to have gone to avoid COVID-19 curbs, with many traveling on foot for days after an unknown number of staff were quarantined at the facility following an outbreak of virus, the Associated Press reported.

Videos circulating on Chinese social media platforms showed people believed to be Foxconn workers climbing fences and carrying their belongings down a road.

Separately, visitors to Shanghai Disneyland were left myouHiked at the park on Monday after the resort halted operations to comply with COVID-19 restrictions amid a new virus outbreak.

In the United States, known COVID cases continue to decline and are now at their lowest level since mid-April, although the true count is likely higher given the total number of people testing at home, where data is not collected.

The daily average of new cases stood at 36,869 on Sunday, according to a New York Times tracker, down 2% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations increased by 3% to 27,415, while the daily average for deaths fell by 6% to 352.

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• With a declining earnings season passing halfway through, results from fintech companies and vaccine makers will arrive this week amid questions about consumer spending as well as demand for COVID drugs, MarketWatch’s Bill Peters reported. Pfizer Inc. PFE,
will release its results on Tuesday, followed by Moderna Inc. MRNA,
Thursday. Analysts will have an eye on the state of COVID-19 vaccine and treatment sales and what executives anticipate for the full year as they prepare for a private market for COVID drugs and more. and more people ignore the pandemic. Pfizer executives in a call last week said they intended to charge between $110 and $130 for a single-dose vial of the vaccine for U.S. adults when government purchases end. But they said they believe anyone with health insurance shouldn’t pay anything out of pocket.

The FDA cleared newly modified COVID-19 boosters to target the latest versions of the omicron variant. But as the WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains, a key part of the decision-making process has changed with these new shots. Photo: Laura Kammerman

• A number of young children are hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and this is happening at an unusual time of year and in older children than in previous years, MarketWatch’s Jaimy Lee reported. COVID may be a contributing factor, partly because many children were not exposed to RSV last season and also because previous COVID infection or exposure can alter the way a child’s immune system baby reacts to RSV and can lead to more serious illness from RSV infection, according to Asuncion Mejias, a principal investigator at the Center for Vaccines and Immunity at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio.

• On Saturday, more than 3,000 people took part in South Africa’s first Pride march since the COVID pandemic, celebrating the LGBT community and defying a US warning of a possible terrorist attack in the region, the AP reported. The US government warned this week of a possible attack in the Sandton neighborhood of Johannesburg, where the march took place. The South African government has expressed concern that the United States has not shared enough information to lend credibility to the alleged threat. Police said all measures have been taken to ensure security in the area.

Here’s what the numbers say:

The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 630.2 million on Monday, while the death toll topped 6.58 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 97.5 million cases and 1,070,266 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 226.9 million people living in the United States, or 68.4% of the total population, are fully immunized, meaning they have received their first shots.

So far, only 22.8 million Americans have had the updated COVID booster that targets the original virus and omicron variants, or 7.3% of the overall population.

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