Subvariants of the covid-19 Omicron strain are not just spreading more, but health officials say it’s re-infecting people faster too.
“Actually we never leave the house,” Valley parent Kimberly Mendoza said. “And we came out here. And I was thinking there’s going to be people here. But you know what no. We’re fine.”
Kimberly Mendoza and her three kids are enjoying the time off from school.
One thing health experts say is that families traveling are contributing to rising cases.
“The thing we need to understand is that all vaccines up until this point have been based on the ancestral strain,” Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said. “These children as well as the adults are being infected by the BA.4 and BA.5 variant, which is significantly different than the ancestral strain. Therefore, even those people who are vaccinated and getting infected. Fortunately, many are not landing in the hospital.”
Melendez says there’s a noticeable rise in cases now, as well as among kids.
“We know the latest strain BA.4, BA.5 is the most infectious of the strains since it started,” Melendez said. “They’re super infectors. What that means is that casual contact can lead to infections.”
His advice is to get vaccinated if you haven’t, get boosted if you’re due, and also look out for new vaccines that may soon be approved.
“It’s been able to mutate, not only in the Corona and the head, which gives it its great advantage in its infection,” Melendez said. “But it also has other mutations on the rest of the virus. So this particular strain becomes more adapt not only because it has an easier way to penetrate the host cell, but because the actual core of the virus has also changed.”