Omicron BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subtype variants grow in the US while BA infection decreases

Omicron’s new BQ.1 and BQ1.1 sub-variants have become known under the term “Hellhound” (Gettyimages)

The SARS-CoV-2The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing, accumulating mutations in its genetic code over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States indicates that it is expected to continue to appear new variants from SARS-CoV-2.

Some variants will come and go, while others will appear, continue to spread, and may replace earlier lineages.

In the latest genetic surveillance report on the circulation of COVID-19 variants in the United States, the CDC noted that sub-variants BQ. 1 s BQ.1.1 Micron accounted for nearly half of the country’s coronavirus cases during the week ending November 19, compared to 39.5% in the previous week.

BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 increased to 49.7%, about two months after they were first detected. BQ.1.1 represented approximately 24.2% of the circulating variants and BQ.1 was estimated to represent 25.5% of the reported cases.

"This is the first time in an epidemic that a variant with clear and obvious immune evasion has not caused a major new wave, said scientist Eric Topol (Gettyimages).
“This is the first time in an epidemic that a variant with clear and obvious immune evasion has not caused a major new wave,” said scientist Eric Topol (Gettyimages).

The BQ.1 variant is also increasing globally, with cases growing from 13% to 16% last week, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 1 coronavirus family spread in the world occurs even when the trend of confirmed cases is down COVID-19 It appears to be declining and deaths from infection are at the lowest levels of an epidemic globally.

To set this new rolling variable, term “Hellor “Hellhound” (Hell In English), a concept that has spread rapidly among users of social networks and refers to the dog of the god Hades, god of the dead and the underworld, called “Cancerbero” or “Cerbero”.

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This dog from Greek mythology was the fierce guardian of the gates of Hell, and he watched over the dead so that they would not escape, and at the same time, the living could not enter the underworld.

BQ.1.1 accounts for approximately 24.2% of circulating variants and BQ.1 has been estimated to account for 25.5% of reported cases in the US (Gettyimages)
BQ.1.1 accounts for approximately 24.2% of circulating variants and BQ.1 has been estimated to account for 25.5% of reported cases in the US (Gettyimages)

However, despite the fact that this nickname indicates his ability to escape immunogenThe European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said there is no evidence that BQ.1 is associated with an increased risk compared to the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, although it also cautioned that it could ward off some types of immune protection, citing For studies conducted in Asia.

Since November last year, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus began to spread around the world very quickly, displacing others that affected the population, especially the Delta variant, which was dominant at the time. In the year 2022, different sub-lines of Omicron have emerged and are prevalent and causing different waves of COVID-19 cases.

As shown infobaeThe subspecies currently gaining ground are offshoots of the BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5 sub-variants of Micron and are better able to avoid immunity from previous coronavirus infections or vaccines. But immunization also protects against dangerous conditions (especially if reinforcements are available).

The proportion of BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 rose to 49.7%, about two months after they were first detected (Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa)
The proportion of BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 rose to 49.7%, about two months after they were first detected (Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa)

Experts warn that with diversity dominating, it is now harder to predict the next waves of the pandemic. It can even lead to a “double wave” in some places, with first one variant and then another taking over a population.

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However, the final weeks of 2022 represent a very different scenario than the end of the year in 2020 and 2021. Eminent scholar Eric Topol, Founder and Director Scripps Institute for Research Translation, He explained in his recent newsletter: “This is the first time in an epidemic that a variant with clear and obvious immune evasion has not triggered a major new wave.”.

Examples of the former variants with an increase in immune escape properties include Beta, Gamma, and Omicron BA.1, BA.2, and BA.5. Each of these resulted in large waves globally or on specific continents (Beta in South Africa, Gamma in South America).

“Under the pressure of previous infections, vaccines, boosters, and combinations of these agents, the virus is having difficulty finding new hosts. So far, BQ.1.1 has failed to trigger a new wave in two countries, which is a very positive sign.”

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