publish date 2022-02-02 09:08:30
The World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that a sub-mutant derived from Omicron, and studies indicate that it spreads faster than the original, has been detected in 57 countries.
The omicron mutant from the rapidly spreading coronavirus has become a worldwide tyrant since it was first detected in South Africa 10 weeks ago.
In the weekly epidemiological update, the World Health Organization said that the mutant, which makes up more than 93% of all samples of the Corona virus collected last month, has several subspecies, namely “PA.1”, “PA.1.1” and “PI.2”. and PA3.
It added that PA1 and PA1.1, the first two versions identified, made up 96 percent of all Omicron strains uploaded to the Global Influenza Data Exchange Initiative database.
But there was a clear rise in infections related to the “PA2” strain, which underwent several mutations different from the original, including the spiny protein on the surface of the virus, which plays a key role in the virus entering human cells.
The World Health Organization revealed that “strains identified as PA2+ have been submitted to the Global Influenza Data Sharing Initiative from 57 countries so far,” adding that in some countries the sub-mutated make up more than half of the omicron strains collected.
The United Nations organization indicated that so far little is known about the differences between the sub-mutants, and called for studies to be carried out on their properties, including their susceptibility to spread and their ability to evade the immune system.
Recent studies have found that PA2 spreads faster than the original Omicron mutant.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s chief Covid expert, told reporters Tuesday that information about the sub-mutant is very limited, but some preliminary data indicates that BA2 has a “slight increase in the growth rate compared to BA1+.”
In general, Omicron causes less severe disease than previous mutations of the Corona virus, such as Delta, and Van Kerkhove pointed out that “there is no indication yet that there is a change in the severity of the disease” in the sub-mutant “PA2”.
She stressed that regardless of the strain, Covid remains a serious disease and people should strive to avoid contracting it.
“We want people to be aware that this virus continues to spread and evolve,” she said, adding, “It is really important that we take measures to reduce our exposure to this virus, regardless of which mutator is spreading.”
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