'Stealth Omicron': Is COVID the most transmissible BA.2 sub-variant and should we be concerned?
Governments across Europe have expressed their intentions to ease restrictions on COVID-19, but the possibility of another wave of the virus is raising concerns among scientists.
The Omicron BA.2 sub-variant, which is being renamed "Stealth Omicron", appears to be spreading to several parts of the world, including Denmark and the United Kingdom.
Why is it called "Stealth Omicron"?
Given the speed with which it is spreading compared to other Omicron sub-variants, this one is raising fears that it is actively spreading in the community.
The UK Health Insurance Agency defined today BA.2 as a variant under investigation, while stressing that current case rates are very low.
The agency said further analysis would be done.
"53 cases of Omicron sub-variant BA.2 have been identified in the United Kingdom," the agency said in a statement.
Dr. Meera Chand, UKHSA Incident Director, said: "It's the nature of viruses to evolve and change, so we should expect to see new variants emerge as the pandemic continues. Our ongoing genomic surveillance allows us to detect them and to assess whether they are important ".
Should we worry?
Omicron, which is also called B.1.1.529, has three main subvariants, BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Deri më tani, ka qenë BA.1 që ka dominuar sipas OBSH që ka vlerësuar se përbën pjesën më të madhe të të gjitha rasteve të Omicron.
Megjithatë, në disa vende, BA.2 ka filluar të përhapet më shpejt.
Në Danimarkë, tani përbën pothuajse gjysmën e të gjitha rasteve të Omicron. Vende të tjera si MB, Norvegjia dhe Suedia po përjetojnë gjithashtu një rritje të rasteve BA.2, edhe pse jo në të njëjtën masë.
"The initial analysis showed no differences in hospitalizations for BA.2 compared to BA.1," said the Statens Serum Institute of Denmark, a government-run infectious disease research center. ongoing, including efforts to conduct antibody neutralization studies. Vaccines are expected to have an effect even against serious diseases after BA infection.2 ".