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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

India Detects First Case Of New Omicron Variant BQ.1. Should We Be Concerned?

Pune: India detected its first case of Omicron subvariant BQ.1 in a sample in Pune on Monday. This comes after India’s Gujarat Biotechnology recently found another variant BF.7 which has also triggered a question a of snowballing into another wave ahead of festive season. This is fresh COVID sub-variant is a decedent of Omicron’s BA.5 that is currently the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 mainly in US.Also Read – Boston University Scientists Claim to Have Developed New COVID strain With 80% Kill Rate | Top Points

According to scientists, both the sub-variants BQ.1 and BF.7 pack mutations that could make them contagious and also easily evade immunity shield, reported Times of India. Also Read – Omicron BF.7: Maharashtra Issues Fresh Alert Ahead of Diwali. Read Full Advisory Here

OMICRON NEW VARAIANT BQ.1: WHAT WE KNOW

  • As per latest estimate by CDC, the new variant BQ.1 makes up for atleast 1 in 10 cases in US.
  • President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser and a top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci sounded an alarm pertaining to this new emergence of BQ. 1 variants have already outpaced many rival strains in European nations from England to Germany, which have already seen renewed waves begin.
  • According to the CDC, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 each currently make up an estimated 5.7 per cent of infections around the country.
  • Experts have cited the “sizable number of unique mutations” in variants like BQ.1 in speculating that it could evade immunity from prior infections or vaccination.
  • BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 also appear on track to overtake the only other strain that still outnumbers them: BA 4.6, which currently makes up 12.2% of infections.

SHOULD WE BE CONCERED?

While there is no substantial mutation has occurred to make conclusive arguments in India, BQ.1 nonetheless has shown signs of making its way beyond the layer of vaccine immunity in other countries.. Also Read – Kerala Govt Intensifies Preventive Steps After New COVID Variants Reported Abroad

“When you get variants like that, you look at what their rate of increase is as a relative proportion of the variants, and this has a pretty troublesome doubling time,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the US president’s chief medical adviser, told CBS News.

According to ToI report, a scientist from National Institute o Virology (NIV) said that these offspring of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2  have a potential to cause surges and should not be ignored.

In a bid to precautions, experts advise India to improve sewage surveillance system.

When BF.7 was detected, according to experts, Diwali rush has a potential to trigger another wave of this new COVID variant. Therefore, advising caution, people should take the necessary steps and its time mask up! Better to be safe than sorry!

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