New COVID-19 Subvariant Causing Rise In Oklahoma Cases
News 9 - June 6, 2022 6:45 am
OKLAHOMA CITY –
It’s been just over two years now since COVID-19 first made its way through Oklahoma. Though everything finally feels back to normal, travelers may not fully be completely out of the woods yet.
Dr. Dale Bratzler, with OU Health, tells News 9 that the state has seen a spike in cases over the last two weeks and that may have to do with a new subvariant.
“The perception was just from interacting with other people that there were a lot of people getting infected,” Bratzler said. “Indeed, that’s what we’re seeing now.”
According to Bratzler, this variant appears to resist natural immunity. He says if you were infected during the Omicron surge in the winter, that probably won’t protect you against this particular variant.
“It has slowly moved around the country,” said Bratzler. “We saw it first go into the upper Midwest, so Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois. All saw big increases in cases.”
Health professionals said about a month ago that only 9 percent of cases in the state were due to this subvariant. However, now we’re nearly at 50 percent.
“Now it’s highly contagious,” Bratzler said. “It’s even more contagious than the first Omicron, which is scary.”
He said another reason for this increase is vacation destinations are getting hit, especially as travel rises in the summer months.
“There’s a good chance you may be traveling to a part of the country that’s having higher rates of new covid cases than Oklahoma is,” Bratzler says.
However, the good news about this subvariant is they’re not seeing a rise in hospitalizations within Oklahoma so far.
Bratzler said people just need to continue to take the necessary precaution when traveling in crowded areas.