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Omicron subvariants on the rise in Hampton Roads, according to wastewater treatment studies

Jul 14, 2022

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It can be difficult to keep up with the different subvariants of COVID-19, especially when the World Health Organization sends out alerts about surges across the globe

An environmental scientist, Kyle Curtis, with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District studies the variants and subvariants of COVID-19. He and his team track wastewater, which is where both symptomatic and asymptomatic people shed the virus.


It's a study method Curtis said researchers use for various viruses, including Influenza.

Curtis said his team has seen an uptick in the latest subvariants of omicron, which are labeled BA.4 and BA.5.

"BA.4 and BA.5 have been on the increase in proportion relative to the whole signal for the past month maybe," said Curtis. "With all the other variants, what we saw is once one moves in, we see that exponential growth, where for a while, it seems like small increments, but it's really doubling. So, it goes up rapidly."

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