BA.2 subvariant more transmissible than original Omicron: Scientists

WION Web Team
Washington Updated: Jan 29, 2022, 09:00 AM(IST)

Coronavirus Omicron is believed to be the most infectious yet because it binds better to human receptors than Delta. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Reports claim the BA.2 has overtaken the BA.1 subvariant in Denmark even as the country reported 50,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday.

As the Omicron sub-variant known as BA.2 spreads worldwide, scientists have warned that the new subvariant is 1.5 time more transmissible than the original Omicron strain.

The Omicron variant BA.2 also known as a "stealth Omicron" has surged in UK and Denmark. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the  BA.2 has increased in "proportion" to the original Omicron strain even as the US reported 127 new BA.2 cases.

Also Read: Wuhan is back in news with revelation on NeoCov. Check out what WHO has to say

According to Denmark's Statens Serum Institute, the new sublineage is 1.5 times more transmissible than the original Omicron strain also known as BA.1.

CDC has however asserted that there is no evidence that BA.2 is more severe than the BA.1 lineage.

Reports claim the BA.2 has overtaken the BA.1 subvariant in Denmark, although early assessment by scientists showed the effectiveness of the vaccine does not decrease in BA.2. According to the CDC, 67 per cent of people are fully vaccinated against the virus in the United States.

Also Read in Pics: From Mu, Delta, IHU to NeoCov, here is a list of the many variants of coronavirus

Denmark on Friday reported 50,000 new coronavirus cases amid a marginal rise in hospitalisations cases with vaccinations levels at over 80 per cent in the country including a sizeable number of booster shots already administered to citizens.  

The World Health Organisation(WHO) hasn't declared BA.2 as a "variant of concern" but the health body said it is monitoring the situation as it spreads worldwide.

The United States is the worst-hit country due to the virus with over 880,270 fatalities and over 74 million cases since the pandemic took hold in the country in March 2020.

Also Read | Explainer: What is the new 'stealth Omicron'?

Last year in September COVID-19 cases began to surge in the United Stated due to the Delta variant amid large scale vaccination efforts.

However, after South Africa announced it had discovered a new variant Omicron in late November, the new variant cases began to spread rapidly in the US leading to the new imposition of new curbs. 

(With inputs from Agencies)

Read in App