Omicron variants are driving new infections across the world, proving to evade antibodies.

Preliminary research from the University of Tokyo suggests that the alpha and delta strains produced more severe illnesses compared to omicron

The new omicron variants have evolved to target lung cells again, drawing similarities to its origin strains

The risk that strains BA.4 and BA.5 pose “to global health is potentially greater than that of original BA.2,” said Dr. Kei Sato

“It looks as though these things are switching back to the more dangerous form of infection, so going lower down in the lung,” said Dr. Stephen Griffin

Earlier in June, the BA.4 and BA.5 only constituted 6% and 7% of all cases in the U.S., respectively

Three weeks later, the BA.5 strain alone makes up 23.5% of cases in the U.S., while BA.4 has a hold on 11.4%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker

The vaccines and prior infections offer less protection against the newest strains, BA.4 and BA.5, compared to older omicron strains like BA.1 and BA.2