(CTN News) – Despite not yet being detected in Thailand, the Centre for Medical Genomics at Thailand’s Ramathibodi Hospital is closely monitoring a new subvariant of the COVID-19 Omicron BA.4.6.
Which spreads faster than others, including BA.4 and BA.5.
Omicron BA.4.6 has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a variant of concern, according to center, after it has spread rapidly in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
According to information available as of July 30th, it accounts for 4.1% of COVID-19 infections.
A total of 5,681 samples of the Omicron BA.4.6 subvariant have also been sequenced in the past three months and the results have been uploaded to the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) database.
As with BA.4, Omicron BA.4.6 differs only in its Spike R346T mutation.
The center said, however, that it has not yet concluded whether the new subvariant is more serious or more capable of evading immunity than the others, or whether it will not be resistant to the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines.
or the second-generation vaccines to be used for inoculations around the end of this year.
Globally, Omicron BA.4.6 is 15% more transmissible than BA.5, and in Asia, it is 28% more transmissible.
In Asia, it is also 53% more transmissible than the BA.2.75 sub-variant and 12% more transmissible than BA.2.75 worldwide.
The BA.2.75 sub-variant, first diagnosed in India and now spreading worldwide, has been on the decline for some time.
COVID-19 BA.4 and BA.5 are the most common new COVID-19 cases in Thailand.
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