Most Covid-19 patients in Bangkok have been infected with the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants,
the Public Health Ministry said.
BA.4 and BA.5 are two latest sub variants of omicron and fastest spreading versions of Covid-19 infection. The two new strains are now responsible for 50% of new coronavirus cases according to the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.
There was not enough information to make a conclusion about the severity of Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants, but health officials assumed that they were slightly more transmissible.
Up to 78 per cent of foreign visitors have also tested positive for BA.4/5, while 34 per cent of patients upcountry have been infected by the subvariants.
“The BA.4/5 subvariants have started overtaking the Omicron BA.1/2 subvariants, but not too quickly,” he said.
He said 164 patients infected with BA.4/5 subvariants in Bangkok have shown mild symptoms, while 10 patients have developed severe symptoms.
In the provinces, 309 patients infected by the BA.4/5 subvariants have developed mild symptoms, while 45 are suffering severe symptoms.
“Initially we found that most patients infected with BA.4/5 subvariants developed severe symptoms, but there is not enough information,” Director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences said.
What you know about Covid 19 BA.4 and BA.5?
Omicron is mutating in giant leaps, with scientists racing to keep up. Its diversity is challenging vaccine efficacy and complicating treatment. But this fall, broad spectrum bivalent vaccines may help mitigate the seemingly never ending spread of COVID-19.
When a variant emerges, it never stops mutating and changing. And omicron, being a really transmissible virus, amplified how quickly we see these mutations emerge. We went from one version to five [in a relatively short period of time].
Each of these [subvariants] are different from each other. Some scientists say that what we call omicron subvariants now are equivalent to what we referred to as different variants earlier in the pandemic. There’s a lot of diversity in omicron, which is contributing to issues with COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and treatment.
NEW VARIANTS MAKING IT EASIER TO BECOME REINFECTED?
This family of omicron subvariants transmit more effectively than any other variant we’ve seen so far. They evade a large portion of the vaccine induced immunity; you’re protected from the severe disease, but can get infected.
Omicron was a complete game-changer when it emerged. It had such unique properties, that it pushed the COVID-19 pandemic into a completely different area that is similar to what we deal with with seasonal influenza. We’re now completely focused on making sure that we’re doing enough to protect the vulnerable people in the population. Relatively healthy individuals will use vaccines to try to limit spread, but they’re not going to protect people from infection as well as we hoped when the vaccines were initially rolled out.
WHY IS OMICRON EVOLVING SO QUICKLY?
There are a lot of theories out there. Some theories suggest that people who have slightly compromised immune systems are generating some of these variants over time.
We really don’t understand where this happens. With seasonal flu, we see one or two mutations occur that change the virus, that makes us update vaccines—but it’s at a steady rate. What we see with SARS-CoV-2, is that these variants emerge with lots of mutations—making leaps when they change. They’re not moving in small steps. Understanding that is going to be critical to fine-tuning our strategies to be as effective as possible in terms of limiting SARS CoV-2 spread and evolution in the future.
- The majority of the cases reported with common symptoms of
- Sore Throat
- Runny nose
- Persistent cough
- Wearing face masks
- Hand washing and using hand sanitizers
- Boost your immune systems
- Booster shots of vaccine
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