In Hawaii, Omicron Variants BQ.1, BQ.1.1, And XBB.1 Were Found
The estimated percentages of COVID variants circulating throughout the state are depicted in this graphic from the state Department of Health’s variation report.
The more immune-evasive new omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, which have increased COVID incidence in some regions of Europe, are now found in Hawaii.
Today’s variation report from the Hawaii Department of Health reveals that BQ.1.1, a BQ.1 ancestor, was discovered by genome sequencing of test samples over the two-week period ending Oct. 8. Two weeks have passed since the last report, which mentioned the discovery of BQ.1.
Health professionals are concerned about BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, two variants of BA5 that are more able to overcome immunity from vaccination and prior infections. Additionally, they are resistant to monoclonal antibody therapies such as Evusheld and bebtelovimab.
According to the most recent assessment, BA.5 is losing popularity in Hawaii to these new subvariants.
Omicron subvariant BA.5 is still dominant, but it seems to be losing ground. 82% of variants in the state were BA.5, down from 92% in early September.
In Hawaii, subvariant BF.7 made up 6% of variants in circulation, BA.4.6 represented 3%, and BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 made up more than 2% of variants.
BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, two BA5 variations that are better able to overcome immunization immunity and prior infections, are of concern to medical practitioners. They also reject monoclonal antibody treatments like Evusheld and bebtelovimab.
The most current analysis indicates that these new subvariants are making BA.5 less popular in Hawaii.
Although Omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to be dominant, it appears to be waning. Compared to 92% in early September, 82% of variants in the state were BA.5.
In Hawaii, subvariant BF.7 accounted for 6% of variants in use, BA.4.6 for 3%, and BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 for more than 2%.