According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the new BA.2 form of the Omicron Covid-19 variation, which some studies show maybe even be more infectious than the original type, has been found in 57 countries.
Since its discovery in Southern Africa roughly 10 weeks ago, the fast-spreading sub-variant of the highly infectious Omicron strain has quickly become the dominant form globally.
The WHO has issued a warning to governments ready to eliminate Covid-19 safeguards, stating that Omicron has not yet reached its peak in many countries.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, stated, “It is premature for any country to proclaim triumph or capitulation. This virus is hazardous, and it is evolving right in front of our eyes. The World Health Organization is now following four sub-lineages of the Omicron variation, including BA.2.”
In its weekly epidemiological report, the World Health Organization stated that the variety, which accounts for more than 93 percent of all coronavirus specimens collected in the previous month, has multiple sub-lineages: BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3.
According to the study, the earliest versions discovered, BA.1 and BA.1.1, continue to account for more than 96 percent of all Omicron sequences contributed to the GISAID global research program.
However, there has been a significant increase in instances involving BA.2, which has numerous distinct mutations from the original, particularly on the spike protein that dots the virus’s surface and is essential for the virus to enter human cells.
“BA.2-designated sequences have been submitted to GISAID from 57 countries to date,” WHO stated, adding that the sub-variant now accounts for more than half of all Omicron sequences obtained in certain countries.
The UN health agency stated that little is known about the distinctions between the sub-variants and asked for research into its features, such as transmissibility, ability to evade immune defenses, and virulence.
BA.2 is more contagious than the original Omicron.
Several recent investigations have suggested that BA.2 is more contagious than the original Omicron.
According to Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the WHO’s leading Covid experts, knowledge regarding the sub-variant was relatively limited, but preliminary data revealed BA.2 had “a modest increase in growth rate above BA.1.”
Omicron in general is known to produce less severe disease than past coronavirus variations that have wrought havoc, such as Delta, and Van Kerkhove stated that there has been “no indication of a shift in severity” in the BA.2 sub-variant.
She emphasized, however, that regardless of the strain, Covid remained a severe disease that individuals should seek to avoid contracting.
“We need people to be aware that this virus is still circulating and evolving,” she added.
“It’s critical that we take steps to limit our exposure to this virus, whichever strain is circulating.”
According to WHO authorities, Covid-19 vaccinations, masking, and social separation are still useful techniques for combating the infection.
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