The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. What do you know?


The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. What do you know?

Newly identified cases of Covid-19 are declining rapidly worldwide, but global health officials say it is not time to declare the pandemic over. One concern is the so-called proportions of the new Omicron variant, spreading rapidly in some countries.

So what is this ratio, known as BA. 2? What does it mean for the future of the epidemic? Here's what we know so far:

What is the B2 strain?

Scientists map the virus that causes Covid-19 through a system called Pango, which categorizes individual cases of the virus as part of a group of groups known as lineages. Strains are used to track the evolution of the virus; They are family trees, tracing their evolution.

The variant that the WHO calls Omicron was initially a strain identified in the Pango system as B. 1.1.529. Since late November, another study has led scientists to change their designation for Omicron to include several related strains. The original Omicron strain is now known as BA.1; The other, more significant lineage is known as BA.2.

What is the size of the BA.2?

According to a WHO update published earlier this week, BA. 2 now accounts for 21.1% of omicron cases worldwide. It is the dominant version of Covid-19 in 10 countries, and it has spread rapidly in some of them. BA. It made up two 86% of new cases in South Africa as of February 11, up from 27% on February 4. The weekends are January 29.

According to the World Health Organization, it does not appear that BA. 2 is more transmissible than the original Omicron strain. The WHO doctors say there is no evidence that the variant causes more severe disease than previously, and the vaccine's efficacy appears to be similar for BA. 2 and BA.1.

In a Q&A video on Wednesday, WHO officials said the BA's spread. 2 raised some new grounds for concern, and they were looking to see if the spread of BA.2 would reverse the decline in new cases globally.

"We also need to look at whether there is a slowdown in this decline or will we start seeing an increase again?" Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove's technical lead for Covid-19 at the World Health Organization during the questions and answers. "Our concern is that if we start to see an increase, we can, and I'm not saying we're saying this, but we could see some more BA.2 after this big wave of BA.1."

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