Omicron Sub-variant is Nearly as Virulent as Measles, the World’s Top Contagious Disease
During the autumn, a new variant of omicron coronavirus, one of the most contagious illnesses known to humanity, is expected to produce another statewide outbreak of cases.
However, new research shows that vaccinations and antiviral drugs are just as powerful against the BA.2 “stealth” omicron version as they are against the original BA.1.
The positive tests come as health officials prepare to expand the immunization booster campaign ahead of a national outbreak of the more dangerous BA.2 subtype predicted this autumn.
New variant as virulent as measles
A renowned epidemiologist has cautioned that the new Omicron sub-variant is just about as contagious as measles, among the most infectious illnesses in human history.
The novel deltacron variation, which blends Omicron and Delta mutations, has now been found in various places across France and is thought to have been spreading in the population since January.
According to Professor Adrian Esterman, a former World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist, the recent sub-variant is much more communicable than Omicron, despite not being any more serious. He said: “That means we’re going to see case numbers skyrocketing.”
On his Twitter account, he stated: “Omicron BA.2 is about 1.4 times more infectious than BA.1. The basic reproduction number (R0) for BA.1 is about 8.2, making R0 for BA.2 about 12. This makes it pretty close to measles, the most contagious disease we know about.”
The tsunami is arriving sooner than expected, placing pressure on governments and companies to prepare for a period of increased employee and student absences and testing expectations.
The BA.2 omicron variant is “fitter” as compared to the original BA.1 omicron variant and seems to be dominant in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Denmark, and India, with Australia expected to follow in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, where the BA.2 variety is already found in 80% of cases.
The BA.2 virus is regarded as a stealth virus since, unlike the previous omicron form, it cannot be recognized by standard PCR testing and must be decoded in labs.