According to a report published today in The Times Of India, irrespective of the newly discovered variant BF.7 in Maharashtra, the research experts of genome state that, the other two strains, the BA.2.75 and XBB, that are spreading around locally, are a thing of more concern. They are monitoring it closely. Many experts are of the view that the BF.7 strain has its origination from Omicrons BA.5 variant. It may not prove to be much of a threat at least in India. But, the other variant which is the XBB is a thing of concern. This variant makes the infections of Covid higher. The researchers say that it also transmits and multiplies much faster too.
The medical officials of Maharashtra have said that XBB happens to be a combination of double sublineages of BA.2. And the thing of concern is that out of half the samples that have been tested, it is there. While the rest of the samples have 2.75 stains which have become very usual now. Although it is much weak now but, this 2.75 strain was the most active in 2022 until the variant of XBB appeared on the scene. Although the recent data shows that the 2.75 is less life-threatening now, but, the magnitude of the threat around XBB remains high.
Recently this sequencing of the genome inside a fifty-nine-year-old woman who eventually died has revealed that she was affected by the XBB.1 strain. About sixty-one samples across the city and along the outskirts have been tested and found this variant of Covid is present in all of them. The woman belonging to the K ward of west Mumbai had initially shown symptoms of breathlessness and dry cough around the 6th of December. As her condition kept worsening she was moved from a private setup to the BMC hospital where she died on the 14th of December. The reports revealed that the cause of her death was acute distress syndrome in the respiratory system along with the septic shock.
Dr. Rajesh Karyakarte who happens to be the one that coordinates Maharashtra’s genetic sequencing of Covid has told TOI that the subvariant XBB is a thing of concern. This is the one that is causing more havoc in India right now. Quite strangely, it is BF.7 that has caused a greater spread of infection overseas but has not shown that much impact in India.
In a report, the WHO mentioned that from December 2022 till January 2023, every country must remain more aware and cautious about the XBB variant. This is a strain of Omicron and has been reported to be found in thirty-eight countries. The WHO further states that this variant is even active in people who have greater immunity levels too. the mutation it carries is very severe and it transmits at a fast rate too. Even the pace of its growth is higher than the other Omicron variants.
Dr. Karyakarte has further told that they are going to perform the sequencing of the genome of a sixty-eight-year-old man who died last week in Mumbai being affected by this variant. Dr. Jayanti Shastri the ex-head of Kasturba Hospital has said that people right now need not worry about the different variants. As it is circulating amongst everyone so the body is becoming more adaptable to it.