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Thai medical experts warn about the new sub-line of the Omicron variant

Hong Kong is experiencing a wave of infections COVID-19 It is the most severe since the outbreak, with the death rate from the disease now among the highest in the world.

Thai medical experts warn about the new sub-line of the Omicron - 1 . variant

An illustration of the sublines of the Omicron variant that causes COVID-19. Photo:

Dr Chalermchai Boonyaleephan, Vice Chairman of the Thai Senate committee on public health, said that the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 had mutated into the BA.1, BA subtypes. .2 and BA.3. However, the number of infections and deaths in Hong Kong rose to an all-time high to coincide with the emergence of Omicron’s BA.2.2 subline.

According to Dr Chalermchai, the high number of new infections makes mutations more likely. Currently, Hong Kong records about 5,000 new infections and 30 deaths every week. Mortality was higher in those infected with sublineage BA.2.2. Therefore, it is necessary to closely monitor the situation.

Sharing the same view with Dr. Chalermchai, the Gene Center of Mahidol University believes that the current epidemic wave in Hong Kong may be caused by the BA.2.2 sub-lineage. Most of the deaths in Hong Kong are elderly and unvaccinated. According to the center, this sub-lineage has not yet been recorded in Thailand.

However, in an interview with the newspaper, Bangkok Post On March 13, the director of the Department of Health Sciences Supakit Sirilak, said that the Global Initiative for Influenza Data Sharing (Gisaid) – the leading database of influenza gene data, has not yet officially confirmed BA. .2.2 is a new sub-lineage or is responsible for the higher number of cases and deaths in Hong Kong. He stated that BA.2.2 has not yet been recognized by Gisaid as a new sub-line. Only Hong Kong scientists mentioned this sub-lineage. In fact, another subline of Omicron, BA.2.3, has been reported in the Philippines and is much more common than BA.2.2.

Publicizing the new variant takes time and meets a number of criteria, including speed of spread, severity, and immune evasion, according to Mr. Supakit. Currently Gisaid recognizes 5 variants, of which 90% of new infections are still caused by Omicron.

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