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Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 variants BA.4 and BA.5 – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2022-06-23 17:26:22 –


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These omicron subvariants appear to be more contagious.

Subspecies of BA.4 and BA.5 have resulted in increased infection in some countries in South Africa and Europe. Associated Press

COVID-19 Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have rapidly increased the epidemic in New England over the past few weeks.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data Indicates that the subvariant first arrived in New England in mid-April, but began to grow exponentially at the end of May.

Data show that subvariants accounted for about 6.5% of cases at the end of May before growing to about 12.4% by the end of the first week of June. Subvariants then jumped to account for about 15.4% of the next week’s cases, eventually reaching about 24% at the end of last week.

Subspecies of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 are becoming more prevalent in New England and throughout the country. –CDC

BA.2.12.1 remains the most prevalent subspecies in the region and across the country, accounting for 68.3% of infections in New England and 56% across the country, with BA.4 and BA.5 being the country. Cases in the coming weeks, as in other regions.

In an email to Boston.com on Wednesday, David Hamer, a professor of global health at Boston University (BU), said that BA.4 and BA.5 were very concerned about the original Omicron variant. I write that there are many mutations, but they also have new mutations that may make them more transmissible.

Hammer said they have mutations that can facilitate attachment to human cells and mutations that can better avoid immune responses.

Still, according to Hammer, there is no evidence that these mutations cause more serious illnesses, so it is unlikely to increase hospitalization rates except for those who are not vaccinated or naturally infected. … apparently …

BU epidemiologist Matthew Fox agrees with Hamer’s assessment of infectivity and lack of evidence that these variants cause more serious illnesses, with no higher mortality rates than the original omicron variants. Said that.

“But if this version can evade immunity, it can lead to more infections than the previous wave and can lead to more hospitalizations just because of the higher number of infected people.” He wrote on Boston.com. Email.

Studies from Harvard University and Beth Israel Dicones Medical Center were published on Wednesday. New England Journal of Medicine These mutants have been found to better avoid the immune response than previous mutants.

In this study, BA.4 and BA.5 mutants are already much more resistant to neutralizing antibodies than the original COVID-19 virus, against neutralizing antibodies than BA.1 and BA.2. It turned out to be three times more resistant.

For this reason, researchers write that BA.4 and BA.5 have high vaccination rates and can cause significant spikes even in populations with innate immunity to BA.1 and BA.2. However, vaccination should still provide protection against serious illness.

Based on this new information, Hammer said he believes that infections could increase significantly in New England this summer or early fall.

“It raises some concerns,” Fox wrote. “But it’s also a small sample, so I think we have to wait for what happens at the population level.”

Overall, he said it was too early to know how BA.4 and BA.5 would affect the spread throughout New England.

Fox and Hamer have BA.4 and BA.5 South Africa and some European countries So far. In these countries, cases are gradually increasing due to new variants, but no major wave of infection has been seen, Hammer said.

Fox added that summer infections are usually low due to the high temperatures and frequent outings, but he said there was really no way to know for sure.

“I don’t think you need to worry too much yet … I think you need to be prepared,” he wrote. “People should think about what to do if the infection rate rises.”



Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 variants BA.4 and BA.5 Source link Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 variants BA.4 and BA.5

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