Even though the number of Omicron infections in the U.S. and around the world has reached its peak, a new variant on the block will keep health officials on their toes for the time being. It’s called “Stealth Omicron,” and it’s one of the substrains that came out with Omicron. It’s said to be more spreadable than Omicron itself.
B.1.1.529, also known as the Omicron variant, is a coronavirus that has three substrains, each with a different name. According to the WHO, these three substrains are called BA.1, BA.2, and BA3. As for the BA.1, it was the variant that spread around the world quickly and was more easily spread than the Delta variant. Reports say that the BA.2 could be spreading even faster than the Delta variant.
Most of the Omicron cases in Denmark are caused by BA.2, which has a mutation that makes it hard to be found by DNA tests. The BA.2 has the same mutation, but it doesn’t make it easy to be found. This is why the name “stealth Omicron” was given to it.
UK Health Security Agency has found 426 cases of the “Stealth Omicron” so far, the Independent reports. It has been found in more than 40 countries so far, including India, Sweden, Norway, and Singapore, to name a few. The agency has categorised it as a “variant under investigation.”
Scientists in Denmark, where BA.2 infections rose from 20% in December 2021 to 46% in the next two weeks, haven’t found a link between infections of BA.2 and hospitalisation rates because of COVID. An expert on the disease told the Independent that BA.2 might not be able to fight off immunity. People who have been infected with BA.1 might also get infected with BA.2, which could lead to a double peak during this wave.