(CTN News) – The National Institute of Health (NIH) tweeted on Monday that Pakistan had detected its first case of Omicron’s subvariant BA.2.12.1.
What we know so far about this new variant of the Coronavirus can be summarized as follows:
When was it first detected?
A sub-variant of the Coronavirus known as Omicron was first identified six months ago. Within the United States it has been detected in New York in April of this year.
How deadly is the variant?
Coronavirus infections in the United States are already attributed to the BA.2.12.1 sub-lineage. CDC data indicate that BA.2.12.1 was found in 36% of the samples sequenced in the last week of April, up from 0.2% in late February.
Despite spreading more rapidly, it is unclear if this variant is less or more deadly than the original Omicron or Delta.
What are the symptoms of BA.2.12.1?
Researchers are still studying the sub-variant to determine whether it has flu-like symptoms as well, similar to the Omicron variant.
Infected people may experience sneezing, coughing, sore throats, fatigue, and dizziness.
Which countries has it spread to?
As of now, this sub-variant has been detected in the United States, India, Australia and New Zealand.
How does one protect against it?
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that people who have been vaccinated, and especially those who have been boosted, continue to have strong protection against severe disease, including BA.2.12.1.
Are there any other variants of concern?
The coronavirus has also been found to have mutations BA.4 and BA.5, identified by scientists in South Africa.
Besides South Africa, the sub-variants have also been detected in Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Israel, Denmark, France, Germany, the UK, US, and Switzerland.