'Son of Omicron' making up more than 75 percent of COVID-19 cases at Houston Methodist hospitals

Houston Methodist Genome Sequencing Team (Photo courtesy of Houston Methodist)

Officials at Houston Methodist say a more contagious BA.2 Omicron variant is taking over as the dominant strain among patients, making up 76 percent of COVID-19 cases in their hospitals. 

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According to an email from Houston Methodist officials, the original omicron variant is being replaced by what is being dubbed the "son of omicron." 

"Our researchers tell us this latest genome sequencing run confirms the original BA.1 omicron variant is being replaced in Houston by the so-called "son of omicron" and beginning to catch up to the increase in BA.2 being seen in other parts of the U.S.," the statement reads. 

This comes on the heels of the U.S. reporting a record low of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. 

MORE: Number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals reaches record low in the U.S.

"While coronavirus case counts are not increasing, this is a 52% increase in the proportion of cases caused by the BA.2 variant from just three days ago," officials added in their emailed statement. "A week before that, we were only seeing 1-3% of cases caused by the BA.2 strain."