WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— President Biden contracted COVID-19 even though he’s double vaccinated and double boosted. The strain that infected him is likely the one that’s been most prevalent in recent weeks.

It’s called BA.5 and seems to be the most contagious strain of COVID to date.

BA.5 began infecting Americans in large numbers in May and now it’s causing an alarming spike in cases within the last couple of weeks, presumptively adding the president to the list.

“It’s terrible. Yeah. I feel bad for him,” said Maria Garcia.

Maria Garcia of Wilkes-Barre reacted to the news that President Biden has been sickened with COVID-19.

She came to a COVID vaccine clinic at the Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market to get a booster shot and try to avoid the wrath of the disease that is being driven by the BA.5 subvariant.

“It’s very contagious,” said Dr. Brodginski.

Geisinger Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Alison Brodginski said nearly 80 percent of SARS-COV-2 cases are the result of BA.5, a subvariant of the omicron variant. The virus can attach itself to several key parts of the body.

“And that includes the upper respiratory tract which would be the sinuses, the nose. Obviously the lower respiratory tract you know which would be the lungs. We know that the G.I. tract can be a site of manifestation for the virus,” said Dr. Brodginski.

The CDC reports the seven-day moving average of COVID by July 19th was 126,000 cases nationally, an increase of about 15 percent. The viral infections are also driving up hospitalizations.

“Unfortunately, we do see a lot of individuals who are coming into our hospitals with COVID-19 have not been up to date with those vaccines,” Dr. Brodginski explained.

Sandy Boris of Wilkes-Barre has been following developments surrounding COVID cases.

“It’s going up and I fear what the fall is going to bring,” Boris told Eyewitness News.

She is waiting the necessary time to get her second booster after recovering from COVID in May, thankful her symptoms weren’t severe.

“It’s going to be mainly like a bad cold or, you know, the flu but you won’t be at death’s door either,” Boris explained.

Dr. Brodginski recommends besides keeping up to date with your vaccines, consider wearing a mask based on your personal risk factors.

If you suspect you have COVID-19, get tested and be sure to isolate and quarantine under CDC guidelines.