COVID Alert! New Omicron variant reported in China, US; India far from scare
A new COVID subvariant- BF.7, which was recently detected in China has sparked concerns for authorities globally. The said variant is considered to be highly evasive and CDC and WHO have issued a subsequent warning.
In order to tackle the spread, China has imposed fresh restrictions on travelling, taking a big toll. Reportedly, the first case of BF.7 was reported in Yantai and Shaoguan city on October 4. Since then, a number of cases of the same lineage have been reported. Read on to know more about the new variant.
Increased virality of the new variant
The new Omicron variant, also known as the "Omicron spawn" has also been reported in the United States. As per the reports from CDC, BF.7 cases in the United States doubled in a week, rising from 0.8% to 1.7%. The increased virality is a result of the virus' frequent mutations, making it more immunologically evasive.
Meanwhile, Guangdong Province in South China's Shenzhen has become the new hotspot of the variant after several cases of BF.7 were reported on October 11. Other than China, Belgium has reported a majority of BF.7 cases accounting for at least 25% of the total cases followed by Germany and France at 10% each. India on the other hand has not reported any BF.7 cases.
BF.7 symptoms and prevention
The study by CDC suggests BF.7 is reported to be highly immune to antibodies or vaccinations compared to other omicron sub-variants, allowing it to spread rapidly. However, the symptoms of COVID BF.7 are quite similar to the original variant, including, sore throat, congestion, fatigue, cough and runny nose.
How to prevent the spread? The measures are more or less the same, however, the virus has a tendency to spread even in asymptomatic cases.
Avoid crowded areas and meet as few people as possible.
Wear a mask whenever in contact with someone.
In case of any type of illness, consult a doctor.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or sanitise your hands.