There is a subvariant of Omicron called BA.2 that is rapidly spreading in Asia and some places in Europe, though we have only heard of its BA.1 variant until now. Denmark reports it as the dominant form of SARS-CoVID-2. This dominant variant is on the rise in India and United Kingdom. This subvariant is now documented in 57 countries.

The majority of studies conducted in the U.K. and Denmark have found no evidence that infections caused by BA.2 result in a greater chance of being admitted to the hospital than those caused by BA.1. A more recent study hailing from Qatar has shown the same thing. BA.2 is thought to be more severe in children, though. BA.2 variant is found to be more neuropathogenic than the other forms.

In addition, weakening immunity is believed to be playing a role since protection from boosters fades over time, and many people haven’t received theirs since they received months ago.

BA.2, which caused more severe hamster disease in a study in Japan, had caused some concern. Human studies do not always follow animal studies.

WHO’s Goal

It is the WHO’s goal to determine if the BA.2 variant causes any harm to humans, whereas previously, only the BA.1 variant was monitored closely. The BA.2 variant differs from the delta variant. BA.2 has spread at an alarming rate compared to BA.1. It is estimated to spread at a rate of 30% higher than BA.1. Consequently, BA.2 is more difficult to catch. It is possible that the virus’ increased transmission potential is due to extra mutations.

Prof Adrian Esterman, who used to work for the World Health Organization, wrote that Omicron BA.2 is 1.4 times more infectious than BA.1.

It is due to the relaxation of country travel laws that has caused this subvariant to spread. 

In the immediate future, scientists believe the BA.1 subvariant will not cause much harm compared with the Omicron or Delta variants. Still, it is very infectious, and doctors predict it could highly prolong the Omicron surge. More people will become infected if the surge continues. Scientists in Denmark have conducted a study involving 8500 people from December 2021- January 2022, revealing that B.A. 2 subvariant is approximately 1.5+ times more transmissible than its original counterpart, the BA-1 Omicron variant. The study authors are scientists affiliated with Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen University – Statistics Denmark, and the Technical University of Denmark.

 In the same study that BA.2, unlike BA.1, it was better to infect vaccinated people and those who had booster vaccinations. Therefore, BA.2 may also evade immune systems more efficiently.

Vaccines, however, are still an important part of protecting against severe COVID diseases, as those who received vaccines had a much lower chance of being infected or transmitting the subvariants than those who did not. Additionally, previous research has proved that vaccinations can decrease the risk of hospitalization and serious illness in a person. Vaccination will be a crucial step forward with Medriva auto-disable syringes.

As of Feb. 5, BA.2 represented about 1% of genetically sequenced viral samples in the U.S., but that proportion has steadily risen. According to Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, BA.2 probably accounts for 50% of new infections in the United States because many people continue to take-home tests not picked up in the office.

It is not clear that either the infection with BA.1 subvariant provides adequate protection against infection with BA.2 subvariant or not. The answer to the same question is not clear at this time. Many doctors still recommend that people get COVID-19 vaccines to build immunity against viruses since they are still available.

Spread Limitation in BA.2

Since the second half of 2021, vaccine manufacturer(s) have continually tested specific vaccines for Omicron. Moderna and Pfizer are both conducting clinical trials for Omicron-specific vaccines. It may take several months for these vaccines to reach the general public. COVID vaccines lose their effectiveness with time, according to research. As a result, similar to influenza vaccines, Omicron vaccines will require people to take a vaccine shot each year to remain protected against coming or any expected virus variants.

SARS-CoVID-2 cannot be prevented completely, but vaccine combinations, handwashing, masks, and social distancing(s) strongly reduce virus incidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.