Can Omicron subvariant BA.2 cause severity?
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Can Omicron subvariant BA.2 cause severity?

Even though BA.2 variant is more transmissible, it won't cause a surge in Covid cases.

Can Omicron subvariant BA.2 cause severity?

As there is a steep fall in the Covid 19 cases in India, there are several studies being done to predict the upcoming Covid situation. A Covid task force consisting of International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization has clarified that those who have been infected by BA.1 might not get affected by the BA.2 variant. They added that even though BA.2 variant is more transmissible, it won't cause a  surge in Covid 19 cases.

According to news agency ANI, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman National IMA, COVID Task Force said, "It will not cause another surge. BA.2 is not capable of infecting people who had BA.1. It's not a new virus or strain. BA.2 is a sub-lineage of Omicron,"

He described BA.2 as being a bit more transmissible than the BA.1 variant. “For the last two years, it has constantly evolved to increase its fitness, which is its ability to infect more people and to leap past natural immunity and vaccinated immunity," he added.

Is there a need to worry about this new variant?

Last week, lab studies in Japan suggested that the BA.2 variant can lead to more serious infections than BA.1. The researchers explained that the BA.2 variant's genome sequence is very different from BA.1. The study also suggested that the sub-variant does not respond to treatment like monoclonal antibodies and shows immune escape properties.

Dr Jayadevan "As of today, symptoms of Omicron are no different between BA.1 and BA.2. So there is no difference in severity. However, there is a study from Japan done on hamsters. In this study, it was found out that BA.2 affects the lungs more than BA.1."

Aakash Tonk, (29) opines, "Covid situations are controlled in comparison to a few months back. Now everything is getting back on track but that does not mean we should take things lightly. As the Covid task force says, BA.2 variant is more transmissible, so that means  anything can happen if precautions are not taken seriously."

Preeti (23) says, "It feels good that condition is better but truly I do not  believe on these studies. Every day we scroll some new information  with new studies. Instead, I believe in taking all the safety measures seriously. If the situation deteriotes further, it means there is some fault from the side of everyone who does not follow Covid appropriate behaviour."