Home / Science / Health /  More contagious Omicron BA.2 subvariant spreading fast; Covid causing cardiovascular diseases, shows study
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Experts have warned that shedding off Covid-19 restrictions could prove to be risky as dangers associated with the spread of Omicron subtype BA.2 grows across the world. Most states in India as well as the US, which is the most affected country in terms of Covid-19, have relaxed Covid-induced restrictions as new cases and hospitalisations decline significantly.

However, experts say the overall effect of Omicron subvariant BA.2 in the US has increased from last month, which shows that this subtype can spread about 30 per cent faster than the original Covid variant. The data gathered in the US shows Omicron subvariant BA.2 now make up for 3.9 per cent of all infections, which is up from 1.6 per cent recorded in the week ending January 29.

The study, published in the National Public Radio, says Omicron sub-variant BA.2 has already caused a second surge of the Omicron-led wave. Countries like South Africa and many other nations have also reported high infection rates led by this subvariant. Now, a similar alarm is being raised for the US.

The report has said the Omicron BA.2 spread "may be on track to rapidly accelerate in the near future."

Also read: Is omicron leading us closer to herd immunity against Covid-19? What experts say

Post-Covid potential health effects: 

Meanwhile, a study published in Nature Medicine talked about the potential health effects after a person gets infected with Covid. The data shows that the risks of cardiovascular diseases rose significantly a year following COVID-19 infection. For this study, Nature Medicine looked into the health records of more than 153,000 US veterans. They fear that many more such new-onset cardiac cases will be there across the world.

"We are expecting a tidal wave of cardiovascular events in the coming years from direct and indirect causes of COVID," The Washington Post reported, citing Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association.

What WHO says: 

After a recent Japanese lab study indicated that Omicron subvariant BA.2 can cause more severe diseases than the previously identified BA.1, World Health Organisation (WHO) officials explained that research suggests that the stealth omicron can cause “serious infection" in hamsters, but studies among the humans show that the level of severity for both the subvariant is same. However, speaking about the Japanese lab study further, the WHO official said, these studies are very critical in looking for severity signals.

The Japanese study which was looking at the effect of Omicron BA.2 on hamsters was trying to find out if there is a signal of severe disease. Now, these studies are very critical to be done. And, this preprint suggests that BA.2 can cause severe disease in hamsters, said WHO's Maria Van Kerkhove.

With ANI inputs



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