The latest and most transmissible version of the coronavirus, which has plagued the world for 2½ years, seemed of moderate concern to New Mexico’s top health authority, who said Thursday the virus is following a normal evolutionary track.

The new variant, BA.5, which has become more prevalent in the state, shows the coronavirus is amplifying its ability to infect more hosts without killing them, acting state Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase told reporters during a virtual news conference.

“The virus actually wants to live with us, so it evolves over time to more easily infect people, but it reduces the number of people who are killed,” Scrase said.

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