A new sub-variant of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid has already spread to the UK, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Israel, China and India, according to reports.
The Omicron sub-variant, known as BA.2 was discovered during genomic sequencing of Covid patients. It has more mutations and may be more violent than the original Omicron.
There was no proof that BA.2 behaved differently than Omicron, Israel’s Health Ministry stated, according to the Jerusalem Post.
BA.2 was first discovered in China a few weeks ago, and its origins are thought to be in India. According to state media Kan, it has also been observed in Denmark, Australia, Canada, and Singapore.
Israel has identified 20 cases of a novel sub-variant of the highly transmissible Omicron strain of Covid.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHA) has also confirmed the detection of 53 sequences from a sub-lineage of the highly transmissible Omicron strain.
Scientists are concerned about the new development, although the threat presented by the new sub-variant is still unknown.
The Omicron variant (parent Pango lineage B.1.1.529) has three descendent lineages, according to the World Health Organization (BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3). The 69-70 deletion in the spike protein is present in BA.1 and BA.3, but not in BA.2.
Recently, scientists at the Department of Biotechnology’s Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) in India discovered the presence of both BA.1 and BA.2 in genone testing undertaken in the country.
In many states of India, BA.1 has been co-circulating with Delta and has even replaced it. According to media sources, BA.3 has yet to be found in the country.
Image Credit: Getty
You were reading: New highly infectious Omicron sub-variant cases identified in Israel and UK