Kaiser Chief of Infectious Disease talks the rise of COVID-19 subvariants

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 7:16 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – The landscape of COVID-19 cases in the Northwest is changing with two new subvariants emerging.

The subvariants are called BA.4 and BA.5 and experts say these new dominant strains could be as infectious as measles.

FOX 12 spoke with Dr. Katie Sharff, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, who says these new variants are able to slip past those who are fully vaccinated and those who’ve already been infected.

“And additionally, if you’ve previously been infected with COVID, unfortunately, we’re seeing reinfection with this BA.4 and BA.5 even if you’ve had Omicron back in January, February March,” Sharff said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t provide protection from these new subvariants.”

Sharff says vaccinations still protect against serious diseases. Also, Sharff says if you’re in a high-risk category it’s important to check in with your doctor as soon as possible because there are treatments that can help make COVID less severe.

For more information, catch the full interview between FOX 12′s Wayne Garcia and Dr. Katie Sharff above.