The new BA.2 Omicron subvariant is already in circulation in half of the US states

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Dr. Pierre Coulomb examines microscopic images of mice vaccinated with Irvine on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.

Leonard Ortiz | Media News Group | Orange County Register via Getty Images

Almost half of the United States already has dozens of new cases of the Covid submutant, which is even more contagious than the already highly infectious Omicron variant.

According to a global database that tracks Covid variants, nearly half of US states have confirmed the presence of BA.2, with at least 127 known cases nationwide as of Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Friday that BA.2 increased proportionally to the original Omicron strain in some countries, but is now circulating at low levels in the United States.

According to Statens Serum Institut, a Danish infectious disease surveillance agency, the subvariant is 1.5 times more contagious than the original Omicron strain, which scientists call BA.1.

According to the UK Health and Safety Agency, the new substrain does not appear to further reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine against symptomatic infections.

“Currently, there is no evidence that the BA.2 line is stricter than the BA.1 line,” said CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordland.

BA.2 overtook the original Omicron as the dominant subspecies in Denmark in a few weeks, said Troels Lillebaek, chairman of the Scandinavian National Commission overseeing the Covid subspecies.

BA.1 and BA.2 have many differences in mutations in the most important areas. In fact, the difference between BA.1 and BA.2 is greater than the difference between the original “wild strain” and the alpha variant, the first major mutation to take root around the world.

The BA.2 variant has five unique mutations in important parts of the peplomer that the virus uses to attach and invade human cells, Lillebaek told CNBC. Mutations in this part of the spike, known as the receptor binding domain, are often associated with higher transmissibility.

The UK Health and Security Agency said on Friday that BA.2 has “substantial” growth advantages over the original Omicron. According to the agency, the sister variants spread faster than the original Omicron in all parts of England where there were enough cases to perform the analysis.

However, preliminary evaluations have shown that BA.2 does not appear to be less effective than the original Omicron. The booster dose was 70% effective in preventing symptomatic disease from BA.2 2 weeks after receiving the shot, compared to 63% efficacy of the original Omicron strain.

The World Health Organization has not labeled BA.2 with any new concerns. However, WHO officials have repeatedly warned that new variants will emerge as Omicron spreads around the world at unprecedented rates. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, Warning on Tuesday The following Covid variants are more contagious.

“The next mutant of concern is more appropriate, which means it is more contagious because it has to overtake what is currently in circulation,” Wankelhoff said. .. “The big question is whether future variants will be more or less serious.”

Lillebaek said there is not yet enough data to determine if BA.2 can reinfect those who captured the original Omicron. However, previous infections may provide crossover immunity to BA.2.

Pfizer When Modana Amid growing concerns about the emergence of new mutants as the immunity induced by the original vaccine diminishes, clinical trials began this week with Omicron-specific shots.

According to the Danish Ministry of Health, new cases of Covid are increasing in Denmark, with more than 50,000 new infections reported in 5.8 million countries on Friday. Lillebaek said it is safe to assume that BA.2 is currently driving the rise of new infections in Denmark.

New hospitalizations in Denmark increased by 12, resulting in a total of 967 Covid-positive patients. Lillebaek said this increase is likely to be within the control of the healthcare system. However, he said that 80% of Danes are fully vaccinated and 60% are receiving booster shots.

“If you are in a community or in a country with low immunization rates, you will certainly have more hospitalizations and more severe cases, and will go to more ICUs,” he says. I did.

In the United States, about 67% of eligible individuals are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

The new BA.2 Omicron subvariant is already in circulation in half of the US states

Source link The new BA.2 Omicron subvariant is already in circulation in half of the US states

The post The new BA.2 Omicron subvariant is already in circulation in half of the US states appeared first on Eminetra.

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