Second Wind: What We Know So Far of the BA.5 COVID Subvariant - The Scene

What goes around comes around.

The latest COVID-19 subvariant causing waves of infections worldwide is BA.5. Though not designated its own name, it is actually part of the Omicron family.

READ ALSO: Hold Your Breath: Philippines Detects First Case Of Omicron Subvariant BA.2.12, But It’s No “Variant Of Concern” For Now

The subvariant shows an increasing trend globally, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update published July 13.

Between June 19 and July 7, the proportion of reported sequences of BA.5 rose from 42 percent to 50 percent.

A total of 89 countries, including the Philippines, have since reported BA.5 sequences. Local sequencing results from June 29 to July 4 detected 140 BA.5 cases in the country.

First documented in January, the subvariant has recently caused around 65 percent of infections in the United States, based on WHO estimates.

Omicron, with all its descendant lineages, remains the dominant coronavirus variant circulating globally. It accounts for 84 percent of sequences reported in the past 30 days.

WHO COVID-19 technical lead Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said BA.5 has a growth advantage over other sublineages of Omicron that are circulating.

“BA.5 is increasing in terms of the reports and it has increased substantially over the last four weeks alone. We expect that trend to continue around the world, but we will continue to assess as we go forward,” Van Kerkhove said during WHO’s July 12 press briefing.

The health official, however, clarified that they have not seen an increase in BA.5’s severity over other Omicron sublineages from preliminary data.

Banner Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]