New BA.2 Sub-variant More Severe

ba.2 variant

A new sub-variant of Omicron, currently dubbed “BA.2” is emerging as a more severe version of the Omicron Variant. Here is what we know so far.

BA.2 Omicron Variant Is More Severe

Unlike the original Omicron Variant, BA.2 is causing more severe infections. Early data from a Japanese study have found that this sub-variant has the capability to cause more severe infections. Why does this matter? Because so far the Omicron Variant has proven to be highly contagious but relatively mild in terms of symptoms. That doesn’t mean immunocompromised people and those who cannot receive Covid-19 treatments are not still at risk from the Omicron Variant. However, it does mean we don’t have to be as fearful from a public health perspective.

BA.2 Omicron Variant Is More Contagious Than Previous Variants

The BA.2 variant is just as contagious as the Omicron Variant. We know this because a) infection rates are significantly higher than Delta and other Covid-19 variants; and b) the BA.2 variant seems to outwit our primary defenses against the infection: vaccines.

An important reminder is that a booster shot does seem to restore protection against infection. A booster, appropriately timed from the original vaccinations, seems to increase the protection factor by 74%.

Because we strive to only show you scientific summaries from reputable and apolitical sources, we need to disclose that the research upon which this article is based has not yet been peer-reviewed. This is the process by which scientific methods are independently verified.

Summary

Just like when the Omicron Variant first emerged, we have very little data with which to make decisions. What we know at the moment, from a single study recently reported out of Japan, is that the Omicron Variant (a sub-variant) is just as contagious as Omicron and is likely to cause more severe symptoms. Beyond that, there is not enough data to draw more conclusions.

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