Scientists are closely watching an Omicron subtype spreading in Denmark, the UK, Singapore, and India

#ICYMI: Scientists are closely watching an Omicron subtype spreading in Denmark, the UK, Singapore, and India

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25/1/2022 11:34:00 AM

ICYMI : Scientists are closely watching an Omicron subtype spreading in Denmark , the UK, Singapore, and India

It's unclear whether the BA.2 subtype is more infectious than BA.1, the most common subtype. One expert said BA.2 is unlikely to cause another wave.

24 January 2022, 3:33 pm·Experts have said BA.2 is harder to detect in lab tests than BA.1.Leon Neal/Getty ImagesScientists worldwide are closely tracking an Omicron subtype called BA.2.In Denmark, BA.2 is surpassing the BA.1 subtype, the most common cause of new COVID-19 cases.

It's not yet clear whether BA.2 is more severe or contagious than BA.1.Health officials and scientists worldwide are closely watching a subtype of the highly infectiouscoronavirus variant.The new subtype, called BA.2, is a sister of BA.1, the virus driving COVID-19 cases worldwide.

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Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce 24 January 2022, 3:33 pm · Experts have said BA.2 is harder to detect in lab tests than BA.1. Leon Neal/Getty Images Scientists worldwide are closely tracking an Omicron subtype called BA.2. In Denmark, BA.2 is surpassing the BA.1 subtype, the most common cause of new COVID-19 cases. It's not yet clear whether BA.2 is more severe or contagious than BA.1. Health officials and scientists worldwide are closely watching a subtype of the highly infectious coronavirus variant. The new subtype, called BA.2, is a sister of BA.1, the virus driving COVID-19 cases worldwide. Scientists have found that the number of people infected with BA.2 has steadily increased in several countries including India, the UK, Sweden, and Singapore. It was first detected in the Philippines in December. Experts have said this could signal that BA.2 is more infectious than BA.1, though there isn't enough data yet to determine any meaningful difference between the two. Scientists worldwide are now scrambling to work out whether existing vaccines will still work on the subtype and whether BA.2 is deadlier. Health officials in Denmark said on Thursday that BA.2 was displacing BA.1 and accounted for almost half of new infections in the country. They said early data suggested there hadn't been an uptick in hospitalizations since the subtype took hold. Dr. Tom Peacock, a researcher at Imperial College London who was one of the first to sound the alarm about Omicron in November, that he thought BA.2 probably wouldn't cause a second Omicron wave. "Think likely scenario is BA.2 just exacerbates what the national Omicron situation is (slows down decreases, increases peaks, etc)," he said. Peacock that the subtype was not a "major cause of concern" but that it was "definitely worth keeping an eye on." BA.1. and BA.2 share mutations, but about 50 differ between them,