BA.2 Omicron sub-strain ‘may be more transmissable’ but vaccines still work

1/28/2022 11:17:00 PM

Dr Susan Hopkins: ‘We have also learnt that BA.2 has a slightly higher secondary attack rate than BA.1 in households’

Omicron, Vaccines

A strain of Omicron that is being monitored by experts has a greater growth rate and transmission of it is likely to be higher, the UK Health Security Agency has said

Dr Susan Hopkins: ‘We have also learnt that BA.2 has a slightly higher secondary attack rate than BA.1 in households’

Read more: Evening Standard »

Behold the press sub-strain variant scaremongering has begun

What we know so far about ‘stealth Omicron’, new sub-variant BA.2What we know so far about ‘stealth Omicron ’, new sub-variant BA.2 😷

What we know so far about ‘stealth Omicron’, new sub-variant BA.2What we know so far about ‘stealth Omicron ’, new sub-variant BA.2 😷

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Best private islands for a (really) secluded escape It added that while growth rates can be overestimated in early analyses of a new variant, “the apparent growth advantage is currently substantial”.Scientists invent wearable Covid detector that can tell how risky your workplace is Its stealth nickname comes from one of its key differences with the original Omicron.Scientists invent wearable Covid detector that can tell how risky your workplace is Its stealth nickname comes from one of its key differences with the original Omicron.Pfizer has begun clinical trials for its new COVID-19 vaccine tailored to the Omicron variant.

Contact tracing analysis suggests that between December 27 and January 11 transmission was likely to be higher among contacts of BA.2 cases in households at 13. But the new strain does not appear to have this feature making it more difficult to monitor.4 per cent, than those for contacts of other Omicron cases (10. It means that while PCR tests will still spot if someone has this version of Covid-19, the samples would need to be sent for further lab analysis to determine if someone had ‘stealth’.3 per cent). Even so, while health chiefs will now work round the clock analysing BA. But the agency warned that the findings should be interpreted with caution as early findings can change quickly when new variants are identified.

A preliminary assessment found no evidence that would be any less effective against symptomatic disease for BA. Dr Tom Peacock, one of the first virologists to raise the alarm over Omicron, said “Even with slightly higher transmissibility this absolutely is not a Delta to Omicron change, and instead is likely to be slower and more subtle. Dr Tom Peacock, one of the first virologists to raise the alarm over Omicron, said “Even with slightly higher transmissibility this absolutely is not a Delta to Omicron change, and instead is likely to be slower and more subtle.2. There is currently no data on the severity of the strain.2 slowly replaces [Omicron] over the coming months with a slightly more"optimised" mutations. Although hospitalisations and deaths remain low, cases are still high in some areas and some age groups so it’s important that we continue to act cautiously as restrictions are lifted Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, said: “We now know that BA.' The scientist, from Imperial College London, told the Daily Mail : “Very early observations from India and Denmark suggest there is no dramatic difference in severity.2 has an increased growth rate which can be seen in all regions in England.” Dr Meera Chand, the UKHSA's Covid incident director, said an altered form of Omicron was not unexpected because, by their very nature, viruses are constantly evolving.

“We have also learnt that BA.2 has a slightly higher secondary attack rate than BA.1 in households. “Although hospitalisations and deaths remain low, cases are still high in some areas and some age groups so it’s important that we continue to act cautiously as restrictions are lifted. “Consider wearing a face covering when in crowded places.

Take a vaccine to protect yourself against Covid-19. If you have any symptoms, take a test.” (PA Graphics) PA Graphics UKHSA also published analyses related to the original Omicron strain BA.1. Where variant information was available, the majority of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions from November 24 last year to January 19 were for Delta.

The data further suggested that overall numbers of ICU admissions have decreased over time, but where Omicron admissions data was available, they increased from 9% to more than 50 per cent in the most recent week. According to UKHSA, while there was a rapid increase in infections in care homes during December, there has not been an associated increase in hospital admissions. UKHSA said the findings suggest the current wave of Omicron infections is unlikely to lead to a major surge in severe disease in care home populations with high levels of vaccine coverage and/or natural immunity. The numbers of BA.2 in this study were limited and no inferences can be made regarding the strain, it added.

Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology, University of Nottingham said: “It’s still early days, but the evidence so far suggests that BA.2 may be more transmissible than its close relative Omicron. “However, the key issues are whether this variant is associated with more severe disease and if it can escape immunity delivered by vaccines. “Early indicators suggest that the vaccines will provide similar levels of protection as we have seen for Omicron, so this is good news. “Whether or not it causes more severe disease will become apparent as more data is collected.

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