The new virus sub-variants

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The new virus sub-variants

  • An average 15,277 new Covid-19 cases have been recorded every day.
  • The surge has been driven by sub-variants of Omicron.

What are these sub-variants?

  • Current surge due to BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron along with BA.1 - and BA.2.38.
  • BA.5: Led to an increase in cases in South Africa a couple of months ago.

What do we know

  • BA 2.38: Milder disease, just like its parent sub-variant BA.2.
  • BA.2: Drove the winter surge in India, along with BA.1. BA2 soon overtook its cousin
  • BA.4 & BA.5: Detected in South Africa, triggered a surge of infections.
  • Both have around 13% to 15% transmission advantage over BA2, and can also circumvent some of the immunity.
  • Variants do not lead to an increase in severe disease, hospitalisation, and deaths.
  • BA2.12.1: First detected in New York, is thought to be 23% to 27% more transmissible than the BA2 sub-variant.

How much has each sub-variant contributed to the current surge?

  • BA.238 : 30% of all sequences over the last 30 days globally.
  • BA 2 sub-variant: 28% of samples globally
  • BA.4 and BA.5: 7% of the sequences uploaded to the global database.

India’s Case

  • BA.5: 120 sequences mostly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
  • BA.2.12.1: 5% of sequences over the last 30 days.

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