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The latest COVID subvariant creates a new wave and avoids immunity

The latest COVID subvariant creates a new wave and avoids immunity


May 4, 2022 – As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations begin to increase again in the United States, public health authorities are monitoring several new Omicron subvariants that contribute to the number of cases.

In some parts of the United States, a spin-off of the BA.2 subvariant called BA.2.12.1 is the main cause. In other countries, Omicron subvariants called BA.4 and BA.5 are pushing up cases. To CNN..

All three subvariants spread faster than BA.2 and appear to create their own COVID-19 waves.

According to the United States, the United States currently reports an average of more than 62,000 cases per day. Data tracker from New York TimesMarking a 50% increase in the last two weeks.

CNN reports that cases in Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Washington have increased in all but four states compared to the previous week. Has increased by more than 50%. In New York, more than a quarter of the state’s population belongs to “high” community-level counties.

According to the report, about 18,350 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized nationwide. Latest data From the US Department of Health and Human Services. Hospitalization has increased by about 18% in the last two weeks.

Subvariant growth

BA.2.12.1, first tagged as a monitored subvariant by New York health authorities in April, is growing about 25% faster than BA.2. Currently, it accounts for about 37% of all new cases in the United States. Latest CDC data.. BA.2 accounts for about 62% of new cases, down from 70% last week.

Health officials are also monitoring BA.4 and BA.5, which appear to have a growth advantage over BA.2, according to CNN reports. According to the report, about 500 BA.4 sequences have been reported in 15 countries and 10 states in the United States, and about 240 BA.5 sequences have been reported in 13 countries and 5 states. Latest data From

According to CNN, BA.4 and BA.5 have contributed to the increase in the number of cases in South Africa over the past two weeks. There are also more positive tests and hospitalizations. As of the end of April, the two subvariants accounted for about 60% of new cases in the country.

Subvariant immunity

BA.4 and BA.5 can escape antibodies from previous infections caused by the original Omicron variant BA.1, which caused the COVID-19 surge in December and January. .. The new submutants also appear to escape the antibodies of those who have been vaccinated and suffered from a breakthrough BA.1 infection.

so New preprint research, South African researchers tested antibodies in the blood to understand if they could knock out the BA.4 and BA.5 viruses. Those who were not vaccinated but were recently infected with BA.1 had a one-seventh chance that the antibody would wipe out BA.4 and BA.5. People who were vaccinated but recently had a BA.1 breakthrough infection were one-third more likely to have such antibodies.

By comparison, the World Health Organization uses a one-eighth reduction in neutralization as a starting point for requesting seasonal renewals. Influenza vaccine, CNN reported. Researchers have concluded that BA.4 and BA.5 “may bring a new wave of infection.” The laboratory was the same that characterized the first Omicron variant.

“Because of the infection, we don’t have much protection from what comes next,” Dr. Alex Segal, a senior research author and virologist at the African Institute of Health, told CNN.

of Another new preprint study, Chinese researchers found that another subvariant called BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12.1, and BA.2.13 all contained mutations at position 452 in the genome. .. This area allows the virus to bind better to cells and dodge antibodies. The Delta variant And some others have mutations here. BA.4 and BA.5 also have changes at location 486. This may be related to the previous escape. ImmunityThe researcher said.

Scientists around the world are now trying to understand how these subvariants are rapidly mutating and escaping. Immunity.. In front of COVID-19 PandemicThe researcher thought coronavirus It hasn’t changed much, but now their perspective has changed.

“The virus has been shown to mutate slowly, but when they started picking up good mutations, they kept going back and forth,” said Dr. Andipekosi, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology. Told. CNN.

Subvariant reinfection

With the increasing number of cases of BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa, scientists are paying particular attention to reinfection in people who have recently developed cases of Omicron. To Los Angeles Times.. Approximately 90% of South Africa’s population is immune to early Omicron variants through previous infections or vaccinations.

So far, only dozens of sequences of BA.4 and BA.5 have been reported in the United States. Researchers are not sure if the two subvariants will surge in the United States or other countries, but there is no reassurance of protection from vaccination or previous prophylaxis. Infection and surge may occur.

“It really turned blue over the weekend. We were already calm at BA.2.12.1, then BA.4 and BA.5?” Peter Peter, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Chin Hong told the newspaper.

“It seems like the latest chapter in an endless story,” he said.

Current data suggest that BA.4 and BA.5 do not cause more serious illness or increase hospitalization or mortality rates than other Omicron variants. However, they are more contagious, can evade immunity, and those who have not been vaccinated and have not been infected before are more likely to have more serious cases. He said.

Subvariant protection

Public health officials recommend monitoring local data, as Omicron variants create their own pockets of infection in the United States. Los Angeles Times report. People should reconsider safety measures, such as wearing masks indoors or in crowded areas, especially if the infection appears to be increasing in variants that escape protection from previous infections.

The CDC also recommends that people continue to wear masks on planes, buses, trains, other public transport and places where many people gather. To Washington post.. Despite last month’s ruling that broke federal transport mask obligations, the CDC emphasized this week that masks will continue to thwart the spread of COVID-19.

“The CDC continues to recommend that all people, passengers and workers, wear appropriate masks. respirator CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, is an indoor public and transportation hub that protects ourselves and other travelers in these massively mixed population environments. ” In the statement..

“It’s important not only for us all to protect ourselves, but also to consider others at high risk of severe COVID-19 and those who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” she said. .. “Wearing a mask on indoor public transport protects individuals and communities.”




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