Health officials monitor new ‘Omicron Ghost’ variant

Health officials around the world are closely monitoring one of the new Omicron sub variants that has been found in at least 40 countries, including nearly 100 cases in the United States.

The variant, BA.2, is one of at least four descendants of Omicron discovered, and it has already become the dominant form of the virus in Denmark.

It is widely called “the cryptic Omicron” due to a genetic trait that makes it difficult to detect.

Since mid-November, more than thirty countries have uploaded nearly 15,000 genetic sequences from BA.2 to GISAID, a global platform for sharing coronavirus data. As of Tuesday, 96 of those serial cases came from the United States.

The World Health Organization reports that BA.2 is “increasing in many countries” amid concerns that it may be more contagious than the primary Omicron strain, BA.1.

Investigations into the properties of BA.2, including its immune escape and virulence properties, It should have priority independently (relatively) of BA.1″.

COVID test tube
Scientists are looking into what appears to be a variant of Omicron COVID-19 called BA.2.
Photograph: Dadu Rovich/Reuters

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) He told the Washington Post It “still represents a very low percentage of viruses circulating in the United States and globally.”

And even in places where it has spread widely, it seems to be participating in weak threat From a sibling lineage.

“We are not too concerned,” Danish virologist Anders Vomsgaard told the Washington Post.

COVID test tube
According to officials, the new strain is as weak as Omicron but almost contagious.
Photograph: Dadu Rovich/Reuters

He said that although BA.2 accounts for about 65 percent of new cases in the European country, “the number of hospitalizations [in] Intensive care units are decreasing.”

As Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London tweeted, “*Very early observations…indicating that there There is not much difference in intensity Compared to BA.1, the original Omicron.

“I would be very surprised if BA.2 did cause a second wave at this point,” he said, even if it proved to have a “slightly higher transmissibility.”

So far, doctors are unsure whether a person with O’Micron’s disease was subsequently infected with the new “Ebn” strain. But many still hope that it will cause much less severe symptoms if that is the case.

A health worker gives the vaccine
Pfizer and Moderna recently announced that they are designing a specific vaccine to combat the Omicron variant.
Robin Beck/AFP via Getty Images
scientist in lab
BA.2 accounts for about 65 percent of new cases in the European country, an official said, “the number of hospitalizations [in] Intensive care units are decreasing.”
AP Photo / Jerome Delay, File

Many insist that BA.2 has shown no reason not to continue learning to live with COVID-19 as a new reality.

“Variants appeared, variants disappeared,” Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University School of Medicine, told The Washington Post.

“I don’t think there is any reason to believe that this is much worse than the current version of Omicron.”

with wire

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