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Business News/ News / World/  New Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 looks different…: WHO chief scientist explains severity
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New Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 looks different…: WHO chief scientist explains severity

WHO chief scientist hinted that new Omicron sub-variant looks different from the previous variants but said, ‘it is too early to say whether it can cause severe infections.’

So far 10 states have reported BA.2.75 variants including Delhi and Maharashtra, and Centre has already declared it to be a variant of concern (REUTERS)Premium
So far 10 states have reported BA.2.75 variants including Delhi and Maharashtra, and Centre has already declared it to be a variant of concern (REUTERS)

The detection of the new Omicron sub-variant - BA.2.75 has raised concerns in the medical community as some experts have pointed out that the sub-lineage in question ‘may imply a trend to come.’ So far 10 states have reported BA.2.75 variants including Delhi and Maharashtra, and Centre has already declared it to be a variant of concern. World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan hinted that it looks different from the previous variants but said, ‘it is too early to say whether it can cause severe infections.’

What is new Omicron subvariant BA.2.75?

There's been an emergence of a subvariant, it's not yet officially called but some people are referring to it as BA.2.75, first from India and then from 10 other countries. There are still limited sequences available to analyze but this subvariant seems to have a few mutations on the receptor bindings of the spike protein. So obviously that's a key part of the virus that attaches itself to the human receptor. So we have to watch that.

Can it cause severe infections?

It is still too early to know if this subvariant has properties of additional immune invasion or indeed of being more clinically severe. WHO is tracking it.

And whenever there is a virus that looks different from a previous one, enough to call a separate variant of concern, WHO will keep track of it closely.

Sources close to the Centre said that this lineage has not been documented to have enhanced severity or disease spread. "So far this lineage has not been documented to have enhanced severity or disease spread. The predominant circulating VoC of SARS-CoV-2 is the Omicron VoC," sources told ANI.

"It is critical to continue to monitor the spread of this sublineage and also the other emerging sublineages of Omicron. The scale of genomic sequencing needs to be expanded and maintained for early detection of variant strains of SARS-CoV-2," sources added.

So far 85 sequences of the sub variant from eight countries (including India) have been reported. Globally, the BA.2 Omicron lineage has been seen to replace the BA.1 lineage. As the BA.2 lineage is evolving, many sublineages of BA.2 are now developing with a set of distinct mutations. B.2.75 is a similar sublineage of BA.2.

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Published: 06 Jul 2022, 09:39 PM IST
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