Research says BA.2 is 1.5 times more transmittable than original Omicron strain
“Of course, we’re closely monitoring developments, and if BA.2 is more contagious, that means a higher wave of infections,” said Tyra Grove Krause, an infection epidemiologist. and will last into February compared to previous forecasts. expert at SSI, was quoted as saying.
BA.2 sub-variant, nicknamed “Stealth Omicron”, is emerging around the world with at least 55 countries, including India, reporting cases to variable tracking databases global body.
The database also shows that nearly half of US states have confirmed the presence of BA.2 with at least 127 known cases nationwide as of Friday, CNBC reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement Friday, said that although BA.2 has increased proportionally to the original strain of Omicron in some countries, it is currently circulating at low levels. in U.S.A.
As of January 26, BA.1 remained the most common Omicron sub-variant worldwide, accounting for 98% of cases at that time, SSI said.
But, BA.2 has grown rapidly and become Denmark’s dominant Covid type.
While there is no evidence that BA.2 is more severe than BA.1, both sub-variants have many differences in their mutations. 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 BA.2 variant has five unique mutations on a key part of the mutant protein that the virus uses to attach to human cells,” Troels Lillebaek, chair of the committee that oversees Covid variants, told CNBC. and infiltrate them.
Mutations in this spike, known as the receptor-binding region, are often associated with higher transduction capacity.
Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency thinks BA.2 has a “significant” growth advantage over the original omicron.
However, a preliminary assessment found that BA.2 did not appear to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine compared with the original Omicron. A booster dose was 70 percent effective in preventing symptoms of illness caused by BA.2 two weeks after injection, compared with 63 percent effective for the original omicron strain, the report said.