DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Currently in the United States, the BA.2 variant is the dominant strain making up more than 50% of all COVID-19 cases.

Despite low levels of COVID in Alabama state medical professionals are keeping a close eye out for a possible increase since some cases of this so-called ‘stealth variant’ have been confirmed in Alabama.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health tells WDHN that this variant is 30 times more contagious than the omicron variant and could cause another spike.

They want to remind Alabamians that vaccines are key to fighting severe illness, as well as keeping people out of hospitals and transmission within communities low.

“I am very concerned because we don’t have an overall robust person vaccinated,” Dr. Landers said. That being said another aspect is being not being quite aware that COVID is still circulating.”

Dr. Landers says it’s important for Alabamians to stay aware of symptoms and if they get sick, to not rule out the coronavirus. Since COVID-19 tests are so readily available, she adds it’s also important to keep testing.