According to a recent CNBC report, there are now at least 127 known cases of the subvariant BA.2, also known as the “stealth” version, rapidly spreading in nearly half of the United States and that international scientists believe is more contagious than omicron.
However, Kristen Nordlund, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautioned in a Monday statement to The Washington Post that at this time, there is inadequate evidence to decide whether the BA.2 lineage is more transmissible or has a fitness advantage over the BA.1 lineage, omicron.
Researchers wrote the BA.2 lineage has lately seen a rise in prevalence in specific areas; it continues to constitute a relatively small fraction of circulating viruses in the United States and throughout the world.
Denmark, where approximately 80 percent of Danes are fully immunized, and 60 percent have received booster shots, has seen the BA.2 virus replace the omicron virus as the prevailing variant.
The health ministry reported more than 50,000 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, most of which were likely secondary to the BA.2 virus, according to Troels Lillebaek, the chairman of the country’s surveillance committee on COVID-19 variants, who spoke to CNBC.
What Makes This Novel Virus More Dangerous?
According to Lillebaek, the BA.2 variant has five distinct mutations on a particular part of the spike protein linked with higher infection rates.
According to the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, the BA.2 variant is 1.5 times as contagious as the omicron version, according to CNBC.
Compared to the variations between the original “wild strain” and the alpha variety, which had the first significant mutation to propagate over the globe, the changes between BA.1 and BA.2 are more remarkable in terms of mutations, according to CNBC.
According to the news site, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has determined that BA.2 has a considerable growth advantage over omicron in all the English regions.
Doctor Susan Hopkins, a chief medical adviser for the United Kingdom Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA), stated that it is known that BA.2 has an enhanced rate of growth, which can be observed in all parts of England.
Even though there was no information available on its severity compared to omicron, the FDA showed no effect in vaccination efficacy against symptomatic infection between the two subvariants in a preliminary evaluation.
Even though the World Health Organization has not classified BA.2 as a variant of concern, experts reported this past Tuesday that not only will new variants emerge as omicron continues to spread throughout the world, but it will also be more transmissible than omicron as a result of this.spread
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, said that the next version of worry would be “more fit,” which means that it will be “more transmissible” since it will have to overcome the present variety.
She added that the main issue is whether future versions will be more or less severe than they already are.