Omicron sub-variant BA.2 puts scientists on alert

11:24 AM | 23 Jan, 2022
Omicron sub-variant BA.2 puts scientists on alert

LONDON – Virologists are studying the latest Covid-19 variant, dubbed as BA.2, that is found in most recent cases in many countries including India, Denmark, and Sweden.

The 'sub-variant' of the novel virus has dozens of mutations and is also dubbed as ‘Omicron's little brother', due to a similar spike protein. BA.2 was first detected in India last month and is believed to have emerged from a mutation of Omicron.

As the Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc across the globe, health professionals are keeping a close eye on its sub-variant to determine how it’s evolved and will further mutate.

Health authorities in Britain have also identified hundreds of cases of BA.2 while some reports suggest it could spread relatively quickly.

Many countries are near, or even past the peak of the BA.1 wave however health professionals expressed fear that BA.2 might cause a second wave at this point.

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Meanwhile, WHO, which earlier termed Omicron as a variant of concern, does not distinguish between it and its BA.2 sub-lineage at this stage as there is no precise data on its resistance to vaccines or the severity of the cases of Covid-19.