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Omikron 'invisible' has spread in 57 countries, WHO warns the world not to be complacent, not yet at its peak

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Omikron 'invisible' has spread in 57 countries, WHO warns the world not to be complacent, not yet at its peak

A subspecies of the Omikron mutant. Some studiesxosuggest it mayspread more easily than the original virus has been seen in 57 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. The omikron epidemic has not yet reached its peak and restrictions should be eased. gradual

The omikron mutant of the novel coronavirus It spread so quickly that it became the main species in the world. since it was first detected in the southern African region 10 weeks ago.

In Epidemiology Weekly Update The World Health Organization states that Omikron mutant This accounts for 93% of all novel coronavirus samples collected last week. There are several subspecies, including BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3.

News reports indicate that BA.1 and BA.1.1 are the first versions found. It still accounts for nearly 96% of all omikron sequencing uploaded to the GISAID database, the global COVID-19 central database.

However, a marked increase was observed in BA.2-related cases in which several sites of mutations differed from the original. In it include protein spikes. Location of proteins in thorns on the surface of the virus. which is the key to entering human cells

Scientists say BA.2 has genetic alterations that make it more difficult to identify as an omikron lineage. It has some characteristics that are not like the original Omikron. That is, there are no genetic changes that the Spike Gene, known as S-Gene Drop Out, makes it more difficult to identify the strain. Even if the infection is detected by PCR

"So far, 57 nations have submitted BA.2 identifiable gene sequencing data to GISAID," the World Health Organization said. and said that in some countries Subspecies currently account for more than half of the collected omikron genetic sequences.

This United Nations health agency admits that little is known about the differences between the subspecies and called for the study of specific characteristics in it including the spread of infection their ability to evade immunity and their virulence.

recent study This indicates that the BA.2 subspecies is more infective than the original Omicron strain.

Dr. Maria van Kirchhof, one of the World Health Organization's top experts. He told reporters on Tuesday that information about the subspecies was still very limited. But preliminary data indicates BA.2 has a slightly higher growth rate than BA.1.

It is generally known that Omikron was less severe than the mutants. of the previous new coronavirus For example, Delta and Van Kirkhoff have stated that so far "There has been no indication of a change in the severity of the BA.2 subspecies."

However, she stressed that even without considering the strain, COVID-19 is still a dangerous disease and people should struggle to protect themselves from infection. “It is very important that we take measures. to reduce our chances of contracting this virus. no matter which mutant will keep going around."

Edited by jiraporn66

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