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World: Three questions about BA.2, sub-variant of Omicron spreading in Denmark

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  Trois questions sur BA.2, sous-variant d’Omicron qui se répand au Danemark © Copyright 2021, Obs

appeared a few weeks ago, a sub-variant of Omicron is now scrutinized by the scientists. Its precise characteristics, still unknown, question. According to the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, he does not "change the situation" at this stage. "Obs" takes stock.

What is this sub-variant?

The Omicron variant knows innumerable mutations during its replication. Most have influence or on its virulence or on its contagiousness.

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a sub-variant, however, drew attention to the month of December: called Ba.2, he Provides a dozen mutations at the SPIKE protein - which serves the virus to be bound to the cells - compared to the original Omicron variant. These variations would make it difficult to differentiate from Variant Delta, according to "release".

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Where does it circulate?

This sub-variant has been identified in some 40 countries of the world, particularly in Europe. To date, the variant has been detected in France, "but at very low levels".


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on a total of 6 817 sequencing where it has been identified, 5 469 have been identified in Denmark, reports "liberation". It gradually replaces Ba.1, the "classic" Omicron variant. "The fact that in Denmark, BA.2 took precedence over BA.1, suggests that it is even more transmitted," says Florence debar, evolutionary biologist at the Institute of Ecology and Science. Paris environment, cited by the daily.

What do we know about its dangerousness?

For the moment, the precise characteristics of the sub-variant have not been analyzed. But some data attract attention, including rapid dissemination to Denmark.

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The World Health Organization (WHO), which ranked Omicron as a "Variant Concerning", does not make a distinction at this stage with sub-variant BA.2. "The Danish authorities have no explanation for this phenomenon, but it is closely followed" according to the public health agency.

It is still too early to worry, according to Antoine Flahault, the director of the Global Health Institute in Geneva, who rather advocates "vigilance" with AFP. "We have the moment the impression that it is severity comparable to Omicron but many questions are still on the table," he adds, inviting to "put in place screening techniques for good the Detect and see quickly what properties are ".

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France on its side "closely follows the data that will be produced by Denmark". "We have an international situation where the Omicron variant circulates a lot, it is normal that underfincts are observed at the time of the France Public Health Agency France. "What interests us is whether it has different characteristics in terms of contagiousness, immune exhaust or severity," she continued.

"There are variants regularly," said Minister of Health Olivier Véran on Thursday at a press conference with the Prime Minister. "For what we know for now, it corresponds little or prou to the characteristics we know Omicron". As a result, he does not "change the situation" at this point, "he concluded.

Coronavirus in Morocco: The Kingdom reopens its airspace after two months of closing .
The Moroccan government was in particular under the pressure of a tourist sector hard hit © Mehdi Fedouach / AFP in Bordeaux, passengers embark in a flight of The Royal Air Maroc company, in 2020. Omicron - The Moroccan government was in particular under the pressure of a tourist sector hardly touched the loose Morocco of Les.

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