India has reported the first case of Omicron BA.4 sub-variant in Hyderabad. First detected in South Africa, it is highly contagious. Although Indian experts believe that COVID-19 cases may increase, it is unlikely to be hospitalized

The first case of the Omicron BA.4 variant in India was registered on Thursday from Hyderabad through the Indian Genomic Observation Program for COVID-19.

According to scientists linked to the Indian Genomics Consortium SARS-CoV-2 (INSACOG), it was reported that from India details of sub-option BA.4 were introduced into GISAID, a global scientific initiative that provides open access to influenza genomic data. On May 9, viruses and coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic were reported Manicature control.

Occasional cases of BA.4 may also have been detected in other Indian cities over the past few days, said a scientist from the Indian Council.

What is the BA.4 option?

BA.4 is a sub-variant of Omicron and has been declared by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention along with the BA.5 option of concern.

In early May, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the BA.4 and BA.5 subunits of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, first discovered in South Africa, “acquired several additional mutations that could affect their characteristics”.

Where was the BA.4 option found?

Subvariant BA.4 was first discovered in South Africa in January.

The earliest sample of BA.4 was collected in South Africa on 10 January, but data show that ‘genome accumulation’ and geographical distribution of the subvariant are later, according to a recent report by the UK Health Agency.

It has since become the dominant option in the country along with BA.5. According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of South Africa, they together replaced 55 percent of other Covid-19 variants.

What other countries have they spread to?

Subvariants are distributed in several European countries and in the United States. BA.4 and BA.5 have been detected in Botswana, Germany and Denmark, as well as in other countries, WHO COVID-19 technical manager Maria Van Kerchow said on Thursday.

BA.4 and BA.5 are spreading in some countries faster than previous Omircon versions, in particular BA.1 and BA.2.

At least 16 countries have reported 700 cases of BA.4, reports CNBC.

The earliest sample of BA.4 was collected in South Africa on 10 January. AFP

How deadly are the sub-options?

Subline BA.4 and BA.5 appear to be more contagious than the previous BA.2 line, which itself was more contagious than the original Omicron version, Tulio de Oliveira, director of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation, South Africa, said Bloomberg. He is also a member of the WHO team that tracks the evolution of COVID-19.

Mutations in the series “allow the virus to evade immunity.”

“We expect that this could cause re-infection and break through some vaccines, because that’s the only way something can grow in South Africa, where we estimate that more than 90 percent of the population has an immune system,” he added. he.

“The wave of infections in the CO has peaked with low hospitalizations and deaths,” de Oliver wrote on Twitter. “Interestingly, so far in countries with a big wave BA.2 BA.4 and BA.5 seem to be growing slowly.”

Meanwhile, scientists in the United States studying BA.4 and BA.5 said that so far the key difference between the new versions of Omicron and the one previously distributed across the country is the transfer. The White House’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Foci, estimated that sub-options are 50 percent more transmitted than the original Omicron line.

Both subvariants have additional mutations in the thorn region, the part of the virus used to invade human cells, and unique mutations outside the region, according to a WHO report released Wednesday. Such mutations are linked to “potential characteristics of immune escape,” the report said. CNBC.

Omicron BA4 is here What is a subvariant and can it cause another wave of COVID19

According to scientists from India, BA.4 does not pose a serious threat to the country. AFP

What do scientists in India say?

Experts in India believe the new surge is likely to remain low given the broad immunity in the Indian population due to the Omicron wave that hit India in January.

“We expect a similar low surge in the coming days, but it is unlikely that there will be any sharp increase in hospitalizations due to severe COVID-19 disease,” said an official from the Union’s National Center for Disease Control. the ministry that heads the INSACOG project, News18.com reports.

According to Dr. Anurag Agrawal, Dean of Bioscience and Medical Research at Ashoka University, the levels of BA.4 and BA.5 antigens are similar to BA.2 but have significant differences compared to BA.1. “I expect the risk of large BA.4 and BA.5 flares to be low in regions like India where BA.2 has caused big waves.”

Virologist Dr. Gongadip Kahn said The Times of India that indicators are important in risk assessment for health systems. “When estimating the occurrence of a metric wave: (1) how much is the variant transmitted and (2) what proportion of the population has been vaccinated or infected?”

“Based on India’s experience with BA.2, I don’t expect any stress in the healthcare system from BA.4 and BA.5. As for the increase in cases, it is, of course, possible, but not guaranteed, ”she said.

With the participation of agencies

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