Omicron BF.7: Following its discovery in an area of Mongolia in China, Omicron’s novel sub-variants BA.5.1.7 and BF.7, which are thought to be extremely contagious and more transmissible, are now spreading to other regions of the world and causing a new wave of Covid infections. Recent sources state that the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Center has discovered the first case of BF.7 in India. It is crucial to take measures before the impending celebrations of Diwali, Dhanteras, Govardhan Puja, and Bhai Dooj due to the introduction of these new sub-variants that are capable of surpassing protection from prior infections and immunizations.
People in India are eagerly anticipating celebrating Diwali, one of the country’s greatest celebrations, after nearly two years of keeping it all low-key, with lockdowns and restrictions loosening up. However, experts caution that removing one’s masks and taking responsibility for one’s isolation at the first sign of symptoms might safeguard the most susceptible, including youngsters, the elderly, cancer survivors, cancer patients, and transplant patients, among others. Here is everything you need to know about the new versions BA.5.1.7 and BF.7, often known as Omicron spawn.
“Over the past several months, there has been a steady decrease in the number of Covid-19 positive cases reported globally. But the Covid-19 virus is always changing to produce newer, sneakier versions.
On October 11, a brand-new variation known as “Omicron spawn,” or more precisely BA.5.1.7 and BF 7, was discovered in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It has now spread to several Chinese areas. Additionally, it has been observed that during the previous two weeks, the prevalence of this variation has increased from 0.8 to 1.7% in the United States. Nearly 15–25% of these variant instances are seen in European nations including the UK, Germany, and France “Head of AmeriHealth’s Asian Hospital in Faridabad and consultant physician and infectious disease specialist Dr. Charu Dutt Arora stated HT Digital.
Every viral mutation has an advantage over the wild type, it is known. According to Dr. Arora, this Omicron BF7 variation is more immunologically evasive and can block the antibodies patients have from prior illnesses or vaccines.
Cause of BA.5.1.7 and BF.7’s ability to propagate more quickly than other variations.
In a telephone conversation with us, Dr. Pavithra Venkatagopalan, Coronavirologist and Covid Awareness Specialist, Rotary Club of Madras NextGen stated that there is an increase in transmissibility with the new variants because they are able to evade the immunity based on prior infections even in fully vaccinated individuals and also they seem to have this other ability to bind better, meaning a few viral particles are enough to cause infection, whereas with earlier variants you needed to symptoms of BF.76 with BA.5.1.7
According to specialists, these varieties’ symptoms would mostly be the same but more would develop with time.
“Body discomfort is usually the most prominent symptom of this variety, as was the case with the previous one. Despite being asymptomatic, those who possess the variation can spread the virus “Dr. Arora explains.
“Because not everyone is now sequencing the data, we don’t really know (about the symptoms), making it impossible to fairly connect the severity of the disease with the mutation. We must thus wait and see. We don’t yet know whether the studies that claim this will entirely spread and create large levels of infection are accurate. Because the majority of patients are not checked with genome sequencing, there isn’t much evidence that directly correlates illness severity with variant sequence “Dr. Venkatagopalan explains.
Will Diwali bring up a new flurry of Covid infections?
Because so many people will congregate during Diwali, experts warn there is a chance of a new wave spurred by the new varieties.
“Due to this variety, there is a potential that COVID-19 will recur in India.” Since there are no travel restrictions and the holiday season is in full flow, the variation may spread among the Indian populace within the next three to four weeks. Congestion, sore throats, and runny nose instances are anticipated to increase as the flu season and upcoming winters get near, “Dr. Arora said.”
“Yes, this extremely contagious omicron strain has made the headlines, but nothing is known about it. We must wait and observe how it behaves in terms of intensity, therefore it is essential to keep a careful eye, take measures, and carry on with our regular activities “Infectious Disease Co-Director at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Dr Vasant Nagvekar adds.
“Given that we’ve all sort of returned to normal at this point, it’s pretty plausible. To stop the illness from spreading, we are not going above and beyond. Lockdowns won’t be a solution because they just delay the disease’s inevitable spread. If we act rationally, safeguard ourselves by disguising and isolating ourselves in case there are indications, and be entirely With vaccinations, we can lessen the effects of this variation. However, many individuals are considering returning to completely regular lives. The majority of people now view this as a regular cold, which is something we will all eventually acquire. Many folks isolate and don’t actually test when symptoms first appear. According to Dr. Venkatagopalan, some people choose to just go on with their lives since they understand what it’s like to lose out on so many opportunities.
Taking precautions before Diwali
Diwali is just around the horizon, according to Dr. Arora, so people shouldn’t worry over this Covid version, but they should be aware of the symptoms and take all necessary measures.
- Try to meet with as few people as you can; do not have gatherings inside.
-Always wash your hands completely with soap and water to maintain good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
The mask that was formerly on their face but is no longer there should be concealing their lips and nostrils. Additionally, it shields them from contaminants.
According to Dr Venkata Gopalan, since the coronavirus is all around us, we should always be on the lookout.
“The student can reduce the spread.” We are unable to halt its expansion. The best course of action if we have symptoms is to get tested and keep away from those who are extremely vulnerable. The expert claims that “this would be the only solution moving forward going forward from now on for cancer patients, transplant patients, pregnant women, young people, and senior citizens who have underlying diseases (are susceptible category)”.
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