The World Health Organization says that the number of reported new COVID-19 cases worldwide decreased by nearly a quarter last week.
That means there's been a decline in reported infections since the end of March. The Geneva-based U.N. health agency said in a weekly report that nearly 5.59 million cases were reported between April 11 and 17.
That's 24% fewer than in the previous week. The number of newly reported deaths dropped 21% to 18,215. WHO said new cases declined in every region though only by 2% in the Americas. The agency said that “these trends should be interpreted with caution as several countries are progressively changing their COVID-19 testing strategies, resulting in lower overall numbers of tests performed and consequently lower numbers of cases detected.”
In the United States, cases are up about 30% in the last 10 days.
BA.2 is still the dominant variant in the U.S., but BA.2.12.1 now accounts for nearly 20% of all new COVID-19 infections in the country, marking a quick increase from the 11% of cases reported last week, according to CDC data.
Health officials there also believe this latest variant is up to 27% more transmissible than ba.2, which is already more infectious than the original omicron variant.
There is no evidence at this time that BA.2.12.1 causes more severe symptoms or disease.