Scientists and virologists have expressed concern about the subvariant BA.2.75 of Omicron of COVID-19also referred to as centaurdue to the speed of its spread. At Uno TV we present everything you need to know about this new subvariant.
What is BA.2.75 or Centaurus, the new subvariant of COVID-19?
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO) describes that the BA.2.75 is a subvariant of Omicronvariant of COVID-19which was first found in India and spread to at least 10 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom.
“There are still limited sequences available to analyze; however, it appears that this subvariant has some mutations in its recombinant spike protein antigen. It is too early to determine whether it has additional properties for immune invasion.”
Dr Soumya Swaminathan
Currently, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) maintains “centaureither BA.2.75 in the list of subvariants of COVID-19 under monitoring since July 7, 2022. The WHO also named it as a monitoring variant.
How many infections are there by this variant at the moment?
The director of the Institute of Social Security of the State of Mexico and Municipalities, Dr. Jorge Guerrero Aguirre, points out that “less than a month after its detection in India, the Centaurus subvariant already represents 20% of infections of COVID-19“.
In the case of Mexico, the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 continue to be responsible for the largest number of infections by COVID-19and has not generated alerts in our country; however, it has a presence in other nations such as United States, Germany, Australia and Canadaalthough it could be expanded during the holiday period.
What are the symptoms of Centaurus?
The Minister of Health and Families of the Junta de Andalucía, Jesús Aguirre details that the symptom of centaur They are not far from other variants, although to a lesser extent one would expect a loss of smell and taste or problems with the digestive system such as diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. These are the signs:
- Nasal congestion
- Throat pain
- muscle pains
Is the new subvariant of Omicron more contagious?
Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, England, points out that the “Centaur” It is fast growing and has a wide geographical distribution, although virologists have also been alerted by the large number of additional mutations it contains. BA.2.75in relation to BA.2, of which it is likely to have evolved.
“BA.2.75 has had the opportunity to develop an advantage over an already successful virus lineage (…) It is difficult to predict the effect of so many mutations appearing together: it gives the virus a kind of ‘wildcard’ property where the sum of the parts could be worse than the parts individually,” said Dr. Griffin.
Other COVID-19 subvariants: BA.4 and BA.5
The most recent wave of COVID-19 infections has had the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants as protagonists, mainly the latter, which is the most prevalent globally, because they would have the ability to evade the Anti-COVID vaccine antibodies.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), pointed out that in general these subvariants they do not have different symptoms to the original version of Covid-19, which makes it difficult to know which variant someone is infected with. These are the symptoms of BA.4 and BA.5:
- Throat pain
- Runny nose
- Muscle pains
The ECDC itself states that the BA.4 subvariants Y BA.5 of the variant Omicron of COVID-19 they were first detected in South Africa in January and February 2022, respectively, and have since become the dominant variants there with 5 and 6% of cases identified in the African country.
BA.2.75 or Centauro, the next dominant subvariant?
According to the testimony of Stephen Griffin for the British newspaper The Guardian, centaur “It’s definitely a potential candidate for what comes after BA.5. Otherwise, it’s probably the kind of thing we’ll have next, i.e. a ‘variant of a variant‘”.
Even if it doesn’t take off in other countries, the growth of the new subvariant of Omicron of COVID-19 in India suggests it will be a regional problem. “Clearly it’s growing quite well in India, but India doesn’t have much BA.5, and it’s still not very clear how well it will do in this scenario,” Griffin said.
The British specialist also recognized the ability of centaur to tolerate changes in its spike protein, the part it uses to infect cells and on which most flu vaccines are based COVID-19.
How is this subvariant different from COVID-19; Will it resist vaccinations?
Soumya Swaminathan of the WHOrecognizes that the speed of spread and clinical severity will depend on studies in this regard centauralthough the infections in India suggest that the speed of contagion of this underlines is greater than others variants.
Virologist Vicente Soriano explains that the denomination of “centaur” or “centaur” comes from “gifted”. From the expert’s perspective, the new subvariant of the COVID-19 it is emerging mainly in regions such as China or India due to very low vaccination rates.
“There are no studies yet to confirm whether it produces more serious disease or in terms of vaccine evasion. What we have is the incidence data that shows that it is being imposed very quickly and due to its mutations in the laboratory, it is expected that it will have greater evasion of vaccines “
In the event that evidence arises to determine that the characteristics of the virus are substantially different from the variant to which it belongs, a separate label will be assigned. The WHO decided to name it after Greek letters to avoid the stigmatization of countries and cultures.