U.S. CDC director: BA.5 estimated to represent 65% of circulating COVID-19 variants

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Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing on "Next Steps: The Road Ahead for the COVID-19 Response" on Capitol Hill in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The fast-spreading BA.5 sub-lineage of Omicron is estimated to make up 65% of the coronavirus variants in the United States as of last week, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday.

The BA.5 and BA.4 variants together accounted for more than 80% of circulating variants last week, with BA.4 making up 16 %, Walensky told reporters at a White House briefing, adding that the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospital admissions has doubled since early May.

(Reporting by Christopher Gallagher and Ahmed Aboulenein; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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