Sunday, October 2, 2022

New corona variant found in India, claims Israeli scientists; Government says it is too early to press the panic button

A series of tweets by an Israeli scientist has left the medical fraternity and pandemic observers fuming. Israeli scientist Dr Shay Fleshon said that about ten states in India have detected a new sub-variant of the coronavirus BA.2.75.

Dr Shay Fleishon with the Central Virology Laboratory at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer tweeted that “85 sequences have been uploaded so far, primarily from India (from 10 states) and 7 other countries. For sequences outside India. No transmission has been tracked on Aadhaar as of now.”

He also gave details of these cases, which said that till July 2, 2022, 27 cases were reported in Maharashtra, 13 in West Bengal, one each in Delhi, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh, six in Haryana, three in Himachal Pradesh, 10 cases. Returns. In Karnataka, five in Madhya Pradesh and two in Telangana. A total of 69 cases of the new subtype have been observed in India.

NextStrain (open source platform on genomic data) said that apart from India, seven other countries have reported the new version. Shay Fleishon wrote on Twitter that this was the first time that second-generation variants had been spread to other countries outside the region where they were detected.

He said, “Will BA.2.75 be the next major version? Too soon to tell. Is BA.2.75 Dangerous? Yes. Because it could be for the trend to come.”

Read also | 17,070 new covid cases reported in India in last 24 hours, 23 deaths

BA.2.75 What is Corona Variant?

A virologist at the Imperial Department of Infectious Diseases warns that there is a way to keep an eye on it. Dr Tom Peacock said on Twitter, “People with surveillance mindedness – BA.2.75 worth taking a close look at – lots of spike mutations, potential second generation variants, apparently rapid evolution and wide geographic spread.”

It is a second generation subtype of Omicron, the fifth edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) designated concern.

What is India saying?

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) top scientist Dr Samiran Panda told India Today that the findings were not unusual. “The variant will happen when the virus is sluggish. Changed forms are expected. Mutations are known to occur. nothing unusual. Expected to be,” said Dr. Samiran Panda. (sic)

He also allayed apprehensions saying that one needs to appreciate that it is not leading to more hospitalizations or serious infections right now.

Read also| Watch: India records 2.71 lakh new Covid-19 cases

“It is too early to say that BA.2.75 is causing the bounce. First of all there is no bounce, it is a small uptick,” he said.

“Given the rapid evolution of several sub-lineages of Ba.2, including Ba.2.75 in India, is it possible that Ba.5 is less likely to spread here? Are they competing among themselves? Virologists here, What do you think?” Noted epidemiologist Professor Giridhar Babu tweeted.

Nothing to worry, experts say

Infectious disease expert Dr. Ishwar Gilada told India Today, “The new sub-variants of Omicron are ba.2.74, ba.2.75 and ba.2.76. Of these, ba.2.75 has shown a wider presence than the other two. Presently , BA.2.38 is more common and about 80% of infections are with this subtype. 10% are BA.2 and the rest are BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.75 etc.”

“BA.2.75 is widely observed in 10 Indian states and states, with Maharashtra dominating with 27, followed by WB 13, Karnataka 10 and Madhya Pradesh 7. The most important issue with BA.2.75 is that it There are 9 mutations, if 5 are in the N-terminal domain of the spine protein and this is responsible for the virus attaching to the host cells,” Dr Ishwar Gilada added.

Dr Ishwar Gilada said that these are new mutations and hence shields from natural infection as well as immunity. Thus, it becomes a matter of concern.

“However, as long as it does not end in demand for oxygen and demand for bedding and creating more deaths, there is nothing to worry about,” the expert said.

‘Limited data found on BA.2.75’

Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan said, “A small number of BA.2.75 have been detected from parts of India. At this time, we have limited data on its clinical implications, but it has generated substantial interest from domain experts around the world. The reason for this is of interest because it appears that it may be called a “second generation version”, which is basically a refined version of the already fitted version.”

“As we know, virus evolution can occur either on a linear scale that is slow in progression, or can occur rapidly in multiple phases, where variants harboring a large number of mutations suddenly appear from nowhere. also appear. Omicron was one such type,” he added.

“BA.2.75 can appear through such a mechanism, and the most common place is in an immune-suppressed individual where a virus can survive for a year or two, acquiring all the time to accumulate mutations. This requires it to spread more efficiently and evade existing immunity. That being said, the presence of the mutation alone does not necessarily make a variant successful. Before we say that it is a variant of concern, One really needs to see how it does on the clinical and epidemiological side before saying that,” explained Dr Rajeev Jayadevan.

Read also| 648 new covid cases registered in Delhi in last 24 hours, 5 deaths

‘Virus rapid adaptation’

“For example, is this variant rapidly displacing existing forms, is it spreading faster than what is already present, and is it causing a different phenotype or disease pattern than previously thought?

When asked how fast the variant is displacing the existing variant or whether it is spreading faster or causing a different phenotype or disease pattern than before, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan said, “In the last six months The biggest revelation in the U.S. has been that the virus is rapidly adapting to evade all forms of prior immunity—be it a previous infection with a vaccination booster or even four doses.”

“The period of production of additional shots has been reduced to about two or three months, even that period is not bullet-proof. It is not clear whether variant-specific vaccines will do better, as the ones so far The results have been mixed. Therefore, we are left with no option but to continue with air hygiene measures like indoor masking and improving indoor ventilation,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
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