Omicron is responsible for about 73% of U.S. infections, the CDC estimates, in a massive jump from the nearly 3% that was reported just last week.
The highly transmissible omicron variant is responsible for nearly three-quarters of new coronavirus infections in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a massive jump over just the week prior.
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CDC data shows that omicron made up 73% of new coronavirus cases in the week ending Dec. 18, while delta cases dropped to over 26% of infections.
The agency reported last week that omicron was responsible for nearly 3% of U.S. coronavirus cases, though it has now revised the estimate for that week to over 12%.
The revised data means that omicron cases rose nearly sixfold in just one week. It’s a much faster takeover than the delta variant.
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It’s also a quicker takeover than U.S. health officials were predicting. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Friday that omicron was expected to become the dominant strain in the U.S. in the “coming weeks.”
The U.S. is averaging over 130,000 new cases of coronavirus per day. Experts fear that not enough people are vaccinated or following mitigation measures to fend off a fifth wave of the coronavirus.
The CDC estimates that just over 61% of Americans are fully vaccinated and nearly 30% have gotten a booster shot.
Leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said last week that an upcoming surge of the omicron variant is “inevitable.”
“The bottom line of what we’ve been telling you all along is, it is critical to get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, it is critical for optimal protection to get boosted,” Fauci said.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce additional steps to address the variant on Tuesday.