Subfluid ‘invisible Omicron’ prolongs Omicron infection waves

According to WHO, the decrease in the number of cases is due to a decrease in testing, which has inadvertently led to an increase in community tracing of the BA.2 subline.

The wave of omicron mutations is easing, but it won’t happen anytime soon due to the surge in BA.2 subcurrent “stealth omicron”.

So scientists are keeping a close eye on the substream, which could travel faster than the Omicron trunk.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the number of infected Omicron variants could be misleading.

According to WHO, the decrease in the number of cases is due to a decrease in testing, which has inadvertently led to an increase in community tracing of the BA.2 subline. The WHO also warned that BA.2 bypasses could be “increasingly dominant”.

The WHO also warned that the current downward trend should not be extrapolated. WHO’s COVID-19 technical director Maria Van Kerkhove said the death toll from COVID-19 had risen for the sixth week in a row rather than relying on the number of infections.

However, although BA.2 can prolong Omicron waves, the scientists say there is currently no evidence that BA.2 causes more severe disease than BA.1.

BA.2 now accounts for about one-fifth of all new infections of the Omicron variant globally, according to the World Health Organization. Denmark was the first country to record a BA.2 over BA.1.

BA.2 subchains are now mainstream in some Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

While health officials and WHO are collecting data on every sub-line of Omicron (not just BA.2, actually), there is currently no evidence that we will be dealing with a new sub-line. This is different from previous changes.

[‘Invisible Omicron’ causes more disease than original variant]

Ms Kerkove said BA.2 is clearly increasing, but only in Omicron. She thinks BA.2 spreads faster than other isoforms of Omicron. Because of this transmissibility, scientists fear the emergence of BA.2 could prolong the current wave of infections and lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.

An uncensored study in Denmark found no difference in hospitalization rates in people infected with the major Omicron variant compared with people infected with the BA.2 subline.

But another study in Japan suggested that BA.2 may be very different from the original variant and is therefore considered a new and possibly more severe variant.

These reports are preliminary, and scientists need more information and time to monitor current infection trends and determine whether treatments are effective.

Like the Omicron variant, BA.2 sublinearly reduced protection against existing vaccines compared with previous variants, but there are no data to suggest that the situation is worsening. It’s too early to give a definitive answer on whether a person can get reinfected with Omicron.

Regarding the Omicron variant, Malaysian health experts say it poses a particular threat to children under the age of 5, who are most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no vaccines for this age group.

Experts recommend that, in addition to strictly adhering to social distancing measures, those eligible for vaccination and booster vaccinations should be vaccinated immediately to reduce the risk of infection.

A wave of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations among Malaysians under the age of 11 in recent weeks has raised concerns that the Omicron variant could pose a significant threat to the age group. compared to previous variants.

Molecular virologist Dr Vinod Balasubramaniam from the Department of Biomedicine at Monash University in Malaysia said that before the Delta and Omicron variants emerged, children appeared to have escaped the brunt of COVID-19. Few children have more severe or even milder diseases than adults.

However, the number of children sickened and hospitalized with COVID-19, especially those under 5, has skyrocketed. Dr. Vinod believes that the increase in cases and hospitalizations may be the result of a combination of factors, one of which is the contagiousness of Omicron. In addition, it is also possible that young children are prone to nasal congestion because Omicron has not yet adapted to the upper airway.

There were about 16,959 cases of COVID-19 among children under 12 across the country, a 160% increase from the 6,524 cases recorded the previous week (January 30-30), according to the Feb. 2-12 tally. . 30 1). /first). 5/2).

Of these, 6,163 were under the age of 5 and 10,796 were between the ages of 5 and 11. 3 COVID-19 deaths

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