What COVID Variant are we on?

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As the world enters a new year, many public health and infectious disease experts predict that monitoring for new coronavirus variants will be an increasingly important part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts – and some are turning their attention to a surge in cases in China (mainly) and some other countries.
The original Omicron variant is gone now as subvariants of the Omicron coronavirus variant continue to circulate globally. Currently subvariants of omicron are circulating, including XBB.1.5, BQ.1.1, BQ.1, BA.5, XBB, etc.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly changing and accumulating mutations in its genetic code over time. New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are expected to continue to emerge. Some variants will emerge and disappear, while others will emerge and continue to spread and may replace previous variants.
To identify and track SARS-CoV-2 variants, CDC uses genomic surveillance. CDC's national genomic surveillance system collects SARS-CoV-2 specimens for sequencing through the US National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance (NS3) program, as well as SARS-CoV-2 sequences generated by commercial or academic laboratories contracted by CDC and state or local public health laboratories. Virus genetic sequences are analyzed and classified as a particular variant. The proportion of variants in a population are calculated nationally, by HHS region, and by jurisdiction. The thousands of sequences analyzed every week through CDC’s national genomic sequencing and bioinformatics efforts fuel the comprehensive and population-based U.S. surveillance system established to identify and monitor the spread of variants.