The Perfect Enemy | New COVID-19 subvariant detected in Twin Cities wastewater
October 4, 2022

New COVID-19 subvariant detected in Twin Cities wastewater

New COVID-19 subvariant detected in Twin Cities wastewater  FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. PaulView Full Coverage on Google News

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The newest Omicron sub-variant made its way to Minnesota after BA.2.75 was detected in Twin Cities wastewater. 

According to data released by the Metropolitan Council on Friday, tested wastewater detected the BA.2.75 subvariant, but Omicron BA.5 is still the most common strain of COVID-19 in the metro accounting for 90% of viral RNA material. 

The Metro Plant has been tracking the BA.2.75 since mid-August, but it just showed up in the mid-September data. BA.2.75 accounted for 1-2% of the total viral RNA material in samples. 

After weeks of decline, COVID-19 increased 36% in wastewater compared to a week earlier. While BA.5 is the dominant strain, BA.4 and BA.2 are still hanging around, according to the data.

The World Health Organization previously labeled Omicron as a variant of concern and said it’s monitoring the new BA.2.75 subvariant, which was first detected in India in May 2022, according to their website. 

The new variant comes as the CDC approved the release of a bivalent booster vaccine to combat the subvariants of COVID-19. 

“Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines is a crucial part of protecting our state in the months ahead,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm in a press release Friday. “The bivalent boosters were shown to be safe and effective, and they will be a key tool in helping provide better protection against variants that are currently spreading.”

The vaccines are currently available at state-run vaccination sites in Moorhead and Rochester, and will be available in the Twin Cities starting next week. The Pfizer booster is recommended for people aged 12 and older, while the Moderna is recommended for those 18 and older.