New Variant Of Covid: Is It More Dangerous?

Public health experts are worried about the new variant of COVID because it seems to spread faster than previous versions of the virus.

Since the COVID variant Omicron first appeared at the end of 2021, it has quickly changed into a number of sub-variants. One subvariant, BF.7, has recently been found to be the main type of COVID that is spreading in Beijing and is causing an increase in COVID infections in China as a whole.

New Variant Of Covid

But, what exactly is this new variant, and should we be concerned? Even though reports from China about how this variant acts are scary, it doesn’t seem to be spreading much in other parts of the world.

Here’s what we know so far.

BF.7, an abbreviation for BA., is a sub-lineage of

Reports from China say that BF.7 can infect humans better than any other Omicron subvariant in the country. This is due to the fact that it spreads faster than other variants, has a shorter incubation period, and is more likely to infect people who have previously had COVID or have been immunized against it.

People think that it is hard to stop the epidemic in China because BF.7 spreads quickly and many people who carry it don’t have any symptoms.

The symptoms of a BF.7 infection are similar to those of other Omicron sub-variants, which are mostly upper respiratory symptoms. Patients may have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, and tiredness, among other signs. A small percentage of people may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

In people with weakened immune systems, BF.7 may cause more serious illness.

Mutations in BF.7

As Omicron has evolved, new sub-variants have emerged that are better able to evade vaccination or prior infection immunity. BF.7 is no exception.

Mutations in BF.7

BF.7 has a specific mutation, R346T, in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (a protein on the surface of the virus that allows it to attach to and infect our cells). This mutation, which is also found in BF.7’s “parent” variant BA.5, has been linked to increasing the virus’s ability to evade neutralizing antibodies produced by vaccines or previous infection.

A recent study looked at the neutralization of BF.7 in sera (a component of blood that contains antibodies) from triple-vaccinated healthcare workers and patients infected during the pandemic’s waves. The R346T mutation contributed to BF.7’s resistance to neutralization.

BF.7 all over the world

BF.7 has also been discovered in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, France, and Denmark.

Even though BF.7 can hide from the immune system and there are worrying signs of growth in China, the variant seems to be stable everywhere else. In the United States, for example, it was estimated to account for 5.7% of infections up to December 10, down from 6.6% the week before.

In a technical briefing published in October, the UK Health Security Agency said that BF.7 was one of the most worrying variants based on growth and neutralisation data. At the time, it made up over 7% of cases. However, the most recent briefing says that BF.7 has been de-escalated because it is happening less often and is growing slowly in the UK.

We don’t know why the situation in China appears to be different. The high R0 of BF.7 could be caused by a lack of immunity in the Chinese population. This could be because they haven’t been vaccinated or because they haven’t had enough infections. Of course, we should be cautious about the data from China because it is based on reports rather than peer-reviewed evidence.

The Omicron BF.7 was discovered outside of Beijing and differs from other sub-variants found in other parts of China. In comparison to the previously discovered BA.1, BA.2, and BA.5 variants, Omicron BF.7 has greater immune escape capability, a shorter incubation period, and a faster transmission rate.” The Delta variant has a basic reproduction number (R0) of 5 to 6, whereas Omicron BF.7 has a R0 greater than 10. It means that the greater the infectious disease’s transmission capacity, the faster the number of infected people grows. The current R0 of the Omicron BF.7 in Beijing can range between 10 and 18.6 people.

On Sunday, health officials in Beijing said there were 840 new cases and 3,048 people in the area who were carriers but didn’t have any symptoms. Of these, 474 cases were found at the community level.

Even though the virus became more infectious and the time between generations got shorter, it still took between 7 and 10 days to turn negative after infection.

Due to how bad the outbreak is, Beijing has asked residents once again to limit how much they move around the city. Starting Thursday, people who live in Beijing will have to get a certificate of a negative nucleic acid test within 48 hours, instead of the current “72-hour” rule.

BF.7 causes symptoms that are similar to those caused by other Omicron subvariants, mostly upper respiratory symptoms. A fever, cough, sore throat, and other symptoms are possible. They may also have diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms in some cases.

The following are the top ten most commonly reported symptoms:

  • Throat pain
  • Clogged nose
  • Nose clogged
  • Sneezing
  • Without phlegm, cough
  • Headache
  • Coughing up phlegm
  • Strained voice
  • Aches and pains in the muscles
  • A distorted sense of smell
  • Booster vaccination

At the moment, a fourth dose of a COVID preventive is unnecessary because most people in many countries have yet to receive a third dose, and there is no data on the utility of a second booster for the currently used vaccines. It is quite different in areas where a large number of people have been exposed to the virus and vaccinated.

Getting the most recent booster is strongly advised to protect you from severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Viruses frequently undergo mutation. These mutations can sometimes result in a new virus variant. BA.4 and BA.5 variants now account for approximately 62% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, and newer variants, such as omicron variants BF.7 and BQ.1, have emerged since.

Are vaccines effective? Yes.

Vaccines continue to protect against severe COVID-19 outcomes. The data show that those who have been vaccinated have a significantly lower death rate than those who have not been vaccinated. The data for those who have received one or more booster doses is even more encouraging.

Can I get a different vaccine booster dose than the one I was given?

Yes, you can select the type of vaccine you receive as a booster dose. Some people prefer the original vaccine type they received. Others might prefer a different type of booster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for booster shots allow for this type of mix-and-match approach. Any of the three options—Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson—will improve your COVID-19 protection.

Stop Covid19

Omicron BF.7 is not a cause for concern.

Experts said last week that India should not be too concerned about the disease’s impact on the population.

“This is an Omicron subvariant. Except for a few minor differences, the main features will be similar to those of Omicron. Most of us have experienced the Omicron wave. So we don’t have to be concerned. “It’s basically the same virus,” he explained.

According to the scientist, China is experiencing an increase in infections as a result of its “zero-COVID policy,” in which authorities block apartment buildings or even cordon off a neighborhood once a resident tests positive, causing great inconvenience to the people.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Dos and Don’t

Omicron : What You Should Know

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