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BA.2: Sub-Variant Of Omicron

A sub-variant Of Omicron:

In the last couple of weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in the discovery of BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron from several countries, leading to fresh worries about the possibility of another surge in cases.

  • Last week, the UK Health Security Agency flagged this sub-variant and designated it as a ‘variant under investigation’.
  • This sub-variant has been present in substantial numbers in India as well, but India is not amongst the countries where the recent increase has been noticed.

A sub-variant of Omicron:

  • It is one of the several sub-variants of the Omicron which has spread rapidly across the world since November.
  • The Omicron name was given to the B.1.1.529 lineage after it was designated as a variant of concern.
  • Later, it was found that this lineage had small variations of its own, and the three most common were named B.1.1.529.1, B.1.1.529.2, and B.1.1.529.3. For ease of reference, however, these sub-lineages were later re-classified as BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3.
  • The Omicron sub-variant that has been most common in circulation till now is BA.1. This continues to be the case even now, though the proportion of BA.2 is on the rise.