Omicron subvariant should be a separate variant of concern, researchers say

”Five things to know:

1. Researchers found BA.2’s reproduction number — or the number of cases directly caused by an infected individual throughout his or her infectious period — was 1.4 times higher than that of BA.1, the original omicron strain.

2. Similar to BA.1, the omicron subvariant appears to thwart vaccine-induced immunity, researchers said. However, COVID-19 vaccine boosters were found to reduce the risk of reinfection by about 74 percent, according to CNN.

3. Cell culture experiments found the subvariant replicated in nasal cells faster than BA.1 and was better at causing cells to stick together in large clumps that eventually become factories to produce more copies of the virus.

4. In hamster studies, subjects infected with BA.2 got sicker and had worse lung function than those injected with BA.1. While the findings suggest the subvariant may cause more severe illness than BA.1, more clinical research is needed to better understand severity, researchers said.

5. The findings highlight the BA.2’s potential threat to global health and the importance of more closely monitoring the subvariant, researchers said.

“Based on our findings, we propose that BA.2 should be recognized as a unique variant of concern, and this SARS-CoV-2 variant should be monitored in depth,” researchers said.

Virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 variant


Soon after the emergence and global spread of a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron lineage, BA.1 (ref1, 2), another Omicron lineage, BA.2, has initiated outcompeting BA.1. Statistical analysis shows that the effective reproduction number of BA.2 is 1.4-fold higher than that of BA.1. Neutralisation experiments show that the vaccine-induced humoral immunity fails to function against BA.2 like BA.1, and notably, the antigenicity of BA.2 is different from BA.1. Cell culture experiments show that BA.2 is more replicative in human nasal epithelial cells and more fusogenic than BA.1. Furthermore, infection experiments using hamsters show that BA.2 is more pathogenic than BA.1. Our multiscale investigations suggest that the risk of BA.2 for global health is potentially higher than that of BA.1.

(J. Harris: The above abstract is from a “Pre Print” of an article, but the article has not yet been subjected to extensive review as are most published medical articles. The BA.2 Variant is going to be nasty, and it is likely to give us a visit. It has demolished all the previously reasonably effective efforts of South Korea to protect their population.


J. Harris: Hopefully, our generously endowed educational area, including the TEAGUE SCHOOL OF NURSING  located in downtown Marshall at The Grand and part of ETBU will help ease the nursing shortage and give our working nurses a chance to catch their breath and clear their heads. It sounds as if more programs to train Nursing Aids, Laboratory Techs, and the like are needed as well. Much of this type of training needs to start at the High School level. 


ABOUT THE CAKES: Since many, many of my (female)  readers have remarked about the beautiful cakes, I’m going to show some more. My Norwegian Housekeeper asks her grandchildren what kind of birthday cake they want  (contents and theme) and then she produces them — for several years.

She has four children herself, all with difficult Norwegian names that I can’t spell or pronounce. They are all grown and gone and most of the new cakes were cooked for their children. 



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