The omicron variant of COVID-19 has once again evolved, spawning new versions of itself with slight mutations that could make the virus more transmissible or more dangerous.
First spotted by scientists in South Africa in April and linked to a subsequent rise in cases there, BA.4 and BA.5 are the newest members of Omicron’s growing family of coronavirus subvariants.
However, its grip has slipped of late, coinciding with small gains by newer subvariants such as BA.4.6 and BF.7. For now, the only certainty when it comes to the coronavirus is uncertainty. California
But a thick soup of Omicron subvariants is simmering on the back burner, loaded with sublineages — notably from BA.2. and BA.5 — converging on alarming sets of mutations. Some sublineages — such as BQ.1.1, an offshoot from BA.5, and XBB, derived from BA.2 strains — are the most immune evasive subvariants seen to date.
At this point, there are so many variants and subvariants that even the researchers are having problems keeping up with the names. Introduction of Bivalent Boosters. In order to cope with spikes in the daily caseload due to the new Omicron subvariants, the MOH will be rolling out the Moderna/Spikevax bivalent vaccine on 14 October.
Furthermore, all plasma samples from individuals with three doses of the NVX-CoV2373 or BNT162b22 vaccine showed neutralizing action against Omicron BA.1, and BA.4/BA.5 subvariants, while only 13% ...
Mortality rates were 0.7% for Delta, 0.4% for the original Omicron variant, and 0.3% for Omicron BA.2. After adjustments, the odds of death were more than 2-times higher for the Delta and the ...
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But we also know that omicron subvariants tend to be more transmissible than previous variants. BA.4.6 appears to be even better at evading the immune system than BA.5, the currently dominant variant.
The original Omicron variant had at least thirty-two mutations on its spike protein and its subvariants have many more. COVID is mutating even faster than the world’s dominant flu strain.