Danish Scientists Say New Subtype of Omicron More Contagious Than Original Strain

© Photo : iSO-FORM LLC Omicron
Omicron  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Danish scientists have found that the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus is significantly more contagious than the original BA.1 strain, but the vaccine reduces the risk of virus transmission, according to the Statens Serum Institut.
The BA.2 subtype was discovered earlier this year and quickly became the dominant coronavirus variant in Denmark, displacing the original Omicron strain.

"The study includes 8.541 households and 17.945 household members from 20. December to 18 January and the results indicate that the rapid spread of BA.2 could be related to an inherent increased transmissibility of the subvariant. There is also evidence to support immune evasive properties of the BA.2 subvariant," the Statens Serum Institut says.

The risk that a person infected with the BA.2 type strain will pass the virus to their family members is 39%, compared to 29% observed in the original variant, according to the institute.
The study also showed that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people were more susceptible to BA.2 than to BA.1, and that the unvaccinated were more likely to infect others with BA.2 than BA.1.
"The risk of being infected (susceptibility) was higher in unvaccinated persons compared with vaccinated and booster-vaccinated household members in both BA.2 and BA.1 infected households, underlining a positive effect of vaccination towards both Omicron variants," the study noted.
The research has not yet been peer reviewed.
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