Mon, 23 May 2022 12:11 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) on Sunday (May 22) confirmed the presence of BA.4 and BA.5 variants of COVID-19 in India. The variants were located in Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
A 19-year-old female from Tamil Nadu who showed only mild symptoms and was fully vaccinated was detected with the BA.4 variant of SARS-CoV-2, while an 80-year-old fully vaccinated male from Telangana tested positive for BA.5 variant of COVID-19.
Furthermore, both the patients had no travel history and were fully vaccinated. The contact tracing of the patients has been launched, the INSACOG said in a statement.
Here's all you need to know about the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, including origin, symptoms, severity, and more.
According to experts, both the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron have been associated with the fifth COVID-19 wave in South Africa, and a fresh wave of infections in the US and Europe.
There has been no indication so far that BA.4 or BA.5 are associated with new symptoms or more severe disease, as per a report by India Today. However, it's to be noted that both may be able to evade the immune system.
Virologists state that the BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages appear to be more infectious than the earlier BA.2 lineage, which itself was more infectious than the original Omicron variant. Furthermore, both the sublineages share many of the same mutations as the original Omicron variant but have more in common with the BA.2 variant. They also possess a number of additional mutations, some of which could change their characteristics.
Countries that detected BA.4 and BA.5 variants
BA.4 and BA.5 have been identified in several countries in addition to South Africa and now India. Reports suggest BA.4 is present in Austria, the UK, the US, Denmark, Belgium, Israel, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, and Botswana. Meanwhile, BA.5 has been identified in Portugal, Germany, the UK, the US, Denmark, France, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, and Switzerland.