SEATTLE (AP) — Health officials say the subvariant of omicron known as BA.2 accounts for about one-fourth of COVID-19 cases sequenced in Washington. The Seattle Times reports the subvariant has steadily spread in the state, and across the country and Europe, but researchers are hopeful any potential wave of the new strain won’t cause as many infections, hospitalizations and deaths as the original version of the variant did. The new subvariant, which emerged in the United Kingdom in December, was identified in Washington in January. Authorities say vaccinations — particularly booster shots — will continue to protect against severe infection.
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