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New variant of Omicron is here! How contagious is it, severity and symptoms

The World Health Organisation experts have now pointed out that there could now be a new Omicron sublineage called the BA 3

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The World Health Organisation experts have now pointed out that there could now be a new Omicron sublineage called the BA 3.

As the world slowly returns back to normalcy, the Covid-19 cases have gone back to an all-time low but the new form of Omicron virus threat largely looms and stares the common man in the face. Coronavirus is known for its nature to mutate at some time and with mutation, a new virus strain emerges. As mutation happens, the virus can branch off and split into sub-variants.

According to reports, the Delta variation of Coronavirus comprises of around 200 sub-variants, while the Omicron variant has BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, and B.1.1.529 sub-variants, from which the BA.1 sub-variant dominates up till now before the scientists had warned about the BA.2 sub-variant. The World Health Organisation experts have now pointed out that there could now be a new Omicron sublineage called the BA 3.

Everything about the third variant of BA3

On March 5 2022, the Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and COVID-19 Technical Lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, said at the World Health Organization that the BA.2 and BA.1 subvariant severity is similar and there is also a BA.3 lineage that is a part of Omicron virus.

According to the study published on January 18, 2022, by the Journal of Medical Virology, the Omicron virus includes the Pango lineage of B.1.1.529, while the descendent of Pango lineage includes BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3.

The BA.3 sublineage was discovered in northwestern South Africa and according to the study, 0.013 per cent of the total genome sequences uploaded to the GISAID database were of BA.3 Omicron subvariant, out of which BA1 was the most common. The study also showed that the BA.3 variant has fewer mutations compared to the BA1.

Out of all the variants of the coronavirus that have been discovered so far, Omicron has been found to be milder than the previous variants that caused fewer hospitalizations in the third wave, which was caused by the BA.1 sub-variant.

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