‘The omicron,’ a variant of the Corona Virus, was already the fastest-spreading virus in history. However, a sub-variant called ‘BA.2’ could be even more transmissible than ‘B.A.1’, the version which we have seen so far. Denmark is one of the countries which monitors the most on the ‘mutations’ of the Corona Virus. Denmark has noticed an ‘explosive growth’ of BA.2 until it is the dominant one in just a few weeks. According to the results published, it is clear that Danish preliminary data hints that a new version ‘BA.2’ is 1.5 times ‘more infectious’ when compared to the classic ‘subtype of Omicron.’ Denmark registers more number cases than ever. However, there was a decrease of cases in the number of people in the ICU. There is good news. The vaccination is still very effective in preventing serious cases of Covid, irrespective of the type of variant they come across.
Darío García de Viedma is the the team member of microbiologist from the Madrid hospital ‘Gregorio Marañón’. The United Kingdom detected the original virus from Wuhan and the ‘Alpha variant’ in 2020. They confirmed two of the first cases of new version BA.2 of Omicron in Spain. The presence of that ‘sub-variant’ is still subjective there. The researcher highlights that the two omicra ‘sub-types’ are more dissimilar from each other. García de Viedma says they are talking about a very big dissimilarity. There is no indication of ‘BA.2’ as a more serious virus than his counterpart ‘BA.2’ as it is worthy of having enough mutations. Therefore they should keep a close eye on it.
There is some ‘PCR tests’ look for three ‘Virus Genes’ to diagnose the infection. India discovered the ‘Delta Variant’ and is dominant globally until the end of 2021. It beeped in all three genes. However, the ‘classic version’ of the Omicron has a mutation that causes only the detection of two of the genes. We can notice this feature through PCR to know if a person has got the infection owing to ‘Delta or Omicron.’ It is possible through a simple PCR test even without including of genome of the virus. However, The BA.2 ‘Sub-Variant’ lacks this mutation. And it is indistinguishable from the Delta with these specific tests. Therefore, that is why call it the ‘stealthy variant.’ María Iglesias from the National Center for Microbiology says that many experts do not call them virologists.
Iglesias jokes clarified and drew the media attention that BA.2 has recently received focus. It has made a lot of noise. Its nickname “stealth” is very misleading. We may come across a person with a ‘Positive’ infection of this ‘sub-variant. ‘He might not have tested either with an ‘antigen test’ a ‘PCR.’ The only difference is that currently, it is not easy to infer the type of Corona Virus in the tests mentioned above that look for those three ‘specific genes.’
María Iglesias underlines that the BA.1 subvariant of Omicron, the classic one, caused 83% of the cases in Spain. The delta variant is lagging behind the other 17% BA.2. Scientists have begun to detect but still reside in Madrid, Catalonia, Asturias, and the Balearic Islands. The virologist reassures that they are not seeing the explosion of cases that there has been in Denmark. Iglesias fears that excessive attention will increase the so-called pandemic fatigue. It is so through monitor variant but at a scientific level. It does not mean that each one deserves front-page reports in all the media. She has further warned and stated that they do not know anything. It is s all assumption. Also, people begin to get tired and not believe anything.
After noticing an increase in the proportion of cases in India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Denmark, ‘WHO’ urged to prioritize the investigation of BA.2. According to the WHO itself, it is clear that B.A.I still cause almost 99% of Omicron cases. Reports speak that about one in three already got an infection due to B.A.2 in Berlin.
However, suppose we verify such incidence in the world. In that case, Doctor Roger Paredes from the Germans Trias Hospital in Badalona snorts as he imagines the future. No sign tells us that BA.2 is a more serious subvariant than the previous one. Still, it could indeed be a little more transmissible. The Section Head of the Disease Service Infectious Paredes says that the consequence of the arrival of BA.2 a new version of Omicron could be so and that it delayed the end of this wave. He explains that only two cases of BA.2 have been detected so far in his area. That is what is happening in England, and therefore cases were declining. Now they have stabilized.
A report by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, the three doses of the vaccine had almost the same effectiveness. It is up to 70% only in preventing infections with symptoms by any of the two Sub-Variants of the Omicron. The incident confirms a 95% protection against deaths due to BA.1. However, still, no data is available on this new version BA.2 of Omicron.
Roger Paredes presumes that the success of the vaccination will open a new stage imminently. He added that Omicron is 25% less serious than Delta under identical conditions. Paredes says that a major section of the society has got vexed because of more restrictions to enter a new phase, as they want to have a ‘no- restrictions’ phase. The majority of people will have a very mild infection. However, there will still be’ high-risk groups’ with severe infections. ‘The action plan’ is transferring the pressure to the hospitals. We need good ‘surveillance systems’ to know when things get out of hand. We look forward to having waves with hundreds of patients in ICUs in the following few years.
Biologist Iñaki Comas, Professor of the Valencia Institute of Biomedicine, says that it does not look like the ‘face of the epidemic.’ It will not change much even if we go from BA.1 to BA.2. If there are no control measures, variants as transmissible as these will continue to find people prone to get an infection. It will lead to a drop in cases, probably being slower than in other waves. But we have already learned that we can control the variants in the same way: vaccination, ventilation, and masks, especially indoors.
According to Emma Hodcroft, the geneticist from the University of Bern (Switzerland), the idea of the ‘SARS-CoV-2 Corona Virus’ is prevailing to evolve into a more gentle version, and it has become widespread. However, it is not the case. Delta is neither the genesis for Omicron nor is the Delta appears due to the Alphavirus. Hodcroft says we will come across new virus variants. It is important to know whether those variants will have concern and impact the pandemic and how we respond. And we don’t know that.
Perhaps, the geneticist warns ‘SARS-CoV-2‘ has run out of new tricks to change its conduct. However, perhaps there is another combination that further increases its transmissibility, gravity, or ability to escape defenses. Regrettably, there is no way to forecast the same. That is the reason for its importance to continue investing in virus surveillance.