Omicron covid-19 variant is now the dominant version of the coronavirus, accounting for 73% of new infections last week, according to federal health officials.
Numbers from the CDC showed almost a six-fold increase in omicron infections in just a week. Numbers across the U.S. are even higher with at least 90% of new infections found in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. New information also suggests 650,000 omicron infections occurred in the U.S. last week.
Since June, delta has been the dominant variant. CDC data shows that as recently as November, more than 99.5% of coronaviruses were delta.
Less than a month ago, scientists in South Africa sounded the alarm on Omicron which has now shown up in around 90 countries.
“These numbers are stark, but they’re not surprising,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
Still, much is unknown about the omicron variant. New studies are suggesting those who are vaccinated will need a booster shot for the best chance at preventing omicron infection however even without the extra dose, getting vaccinated for the virus still should offer strong protection against severe illness and death.