New COVID-19 subvariants account for nearly 70 pct new cases in US

People walk past a COVID-19 testing site in New York, the United States, on Dec. 7, 2022. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- New Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 accounted for nearly 70 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States in the latest week, according to estimates released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

BQ.1.1 was estimated to make up about 36.8 percent of circulating variants in the week ending Dec. 10, and BQ.1 was estimated to make up 31.1 percent, according to CDC data.

The two variants are descendants of Omicron's BA.5 subvariant. They have been growing especially fast since October.

At the beginning of October, each of the two new variants accounted for about 1 percent of new infections in the United States. They have replaced BA.5 to be dominant strains in the United States in mid-November.