Newer modifications of the Omicron variant – BA.4 and BA.5 – are spreading rapidly and on the brink to outdate the past versions of the virus, extending the current Covid-19 surge, said International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr, b) in a report.
The report, published on their website Tuesday (5 July), said the first suspected Omicron sub-variant BA.5 in Dhaka was detected on 19 May this year.
In the last six weeks (14 May-24 June), Omicron BA.5 became the most predominant sub-variant.
During this period, 51 out of 52 Covid-19 positive cases were identified as BA.5 sub-variants and one BA.2 by using complete genome sequencing.
This report illustrated how Covid variants are outcompeted one by another over time, which underscores the continuation of variant surveillance for a regular update on the emergence of new variants.
According to the report, clinical data and vaccination history were available for 40 Omicron BA.5 infected patients – of them, 16 are male and 24 female.
39 patients had mild to moderate symptoms, and one had no symptoms.
Among the patients, only one was hospitalised for one day.
11 were re-infected for the 2nd time and seven for the 3rd time.
38 patients had received at least one dose vaccine.
Regarding vaccination, 16 had received booster doses of vaccines, 21 had two doses, and one had received only one dose. None had travel history.
Icddr,b said, overall, the severity of the disease caused by Omicron BA.5 sub-variant among study population is low.
However, the recent countrywide surge of Covid-19 cases as well as hospitalisation warrants continuation of public health and social measures to minimise the transmission of the virus.