person holding test tubes
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

The fast-moving omicron variant of the coronavirus has now overtaken the delta strain as the dominant in the U.S., currently making up roughly three-quarters of all new coronavirus cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the week ending Dec. 18, omicron accounted for 73.2% of cases, with delta accounting for an additional 26.6%, CNN reported, citing CDC estimates.

The previous week, omicron was estimated at 12.6% of circulating coronavirus in contrast to delta’s 87%, CNN reported.

In the three weeks since the U.S.’s first confirmed case of omicron, cases of the variant have been reported in all but two states — Oklahoma and South Dakota — as well as in D.C. and Puerto Rico, CNN reported.

The variant, first detected in South Africa late last month, has fueled worldwide surges in COVID-19 cases. Though it has spread faster than any of the previous strains, health officials say it’s too early to determine whether it is more virulent or resistant to antibodies.

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