By Laura Kemp • 21 January 2022 • 14:33
The UK Health Security Agency has said that the Omicron variant sub-lineage, known as BA.2, is under investigation – although cases are currently relatively low.
According to the HSA, only 53 sequences had been identified in Britain as of January 10, which said it was carrying out further investigation.
Studies from Denmark do not show a difference in hospitalisations between Omicron and the BA.2 variant.
It is also expected that vaccines will be effective against BA.2 in fighting serious illness, Danish health officials said.
BA.2 is S-gene positive, making it more difficult to identify as Omicron than the dominant strain, BA.1, which accounts for 99 per cent of cases.
S-gene target failure is an indicator of Omicron, due to delta cases having the S-gene and Omicron cases not.
Last week, the HSA said that around 2,093 sequences of BA.2 had been recorded on an online database of 22 countries – including the UK.
Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut, part of its ministry of health, has stated that hospitalisations seem to show no difference for the two Omicron lineages, however, “analyses regarding infectiousness and vaccine efficiency etc. are ongoing.”
“It is expected that vaccines also have an effect against severe illness upon BA.2 infection.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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