Home / News / World /  Omicron BA.2.75 may definitely cause a COVID wave: Expert sounds alarm amid infection surge

With several cities reporting sudden rise COVID cases, experts seem to be alarmed about Omicron subvariant BA.2.75. So far, the variant, which was first detected in India, has been reported in 20 countries. While some experts sounding the alarm, others expressed that it is too early to make assumptions about the variant. However, BA.2.75, also known as ‘Centaurus’, hasn't triggered an increase in hospitalization or death rates.

What is ‘Centaurus’ COVID BA.2.75 variant? 

The Omicron BA.2.75 seemed to have evolved from BA.2 subvariant, which spread widely in early 2022. And several studies had previously pointed out that the new variant has some extra mutation. 

“This could mean that it has had the chance to evolve an advantage over an already successful virus lineage, said Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, last month. 

Is ‘Centaurus’ COVID BA.2.75 variant causing the recent surge in New Delhi? 

Evidences indicate the recent surge in New Delhi might be triggered by the  BA.2.75 variant. 

More than 19,760 COVID-19 cases in total have been recorded in Delhi from August 1-10, according to official data shared by the city health department. Meanwhile, more than half of these samples have been detected with the new sub-variant BA 2.75 of Omicron.

Can the ‘Centaurus’ COVID BA.2.75 variant trigger the 4th wave? 

“This would definitely cause an infection wave," said Tom Wenseleers, an evolutionary biologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, who has modelled its rise, as quoted by the scientific journal Nature. 

The number of confirmed infections — a sliver of the probable true number — is up across India, Wenseleers notes, as is the percentage of tests that come back positive (a more reliable measure when testing rates are low).

So far, BA.2.75 has been detected at relatively low rates outside India, in countries including Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, which are in the middle of or just past the peaks of surges caused mainly by BA.5.

As a result, Jameel does not expect BA.2.75 to trigger big waves in most places. “We’re coming to a point where these variants are sort of competing with each other and they’re almost equivalent," he says. “I think people who have had BA.5 will not have a breakthrough infections with BA.2.75, and vice versa."

 

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