Stealth Omicron Detected in 57 Countries, Says WHO

Source: Freepik

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cases of the stealth Omicron variant have come in from 57 countries so far. 

In the latest weekly epidemiological report, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave an update on the global COVID-19 spread. According to the report, 22 million global cases occurred during the week of 24 to 30 January 2022. The highest number of cases came from the U.S, France, Brazil, and Germany. Although the number of new cases was similar to the one from previous week, new deaths increased by 9%. Furthermore, the health body stated an increase in cases of the Omicron variant; the strain accounted for 93% of all cases in the past month. The WHO further warned of an increase in cases of the BA.2 variant, also called the stealth Omicron.

A relative increase in the BA.2 variant, which differs from BA.1 in some of the mutations, including in the spike protein, has been observed in multiple countries.

World Health Organization

Researchers first discovered the BA.2 variant in December of last year. Labelled stealth because of its ability to escape PCR tests, the Omicron sub-lineage has steadily spread across the globe. According to WHO, the stealth Omicron is now present in 57 countries worldwide. Compared to other Omicron sub-lineages, global BA.2 cases rose 50% in the last six weeks.

BA.2- designated sequences have been submitted to GISAID from 57 countries to date, with the weekly proportion of BA.2 relative to other Omicron sequences rising to over 50% during the last six weeks in several countries.

World Health Organization

Although the new subtype has shown a slightly increased growth rate than the original Omicron lineage, there is limited data to ascertain the variant’s actual characteristics. Just last month, the U.K designated BA.2 a variant under investigation as a result of a rise in cases in the country.

Source: World Health Organization


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here