New Omicron sub-variant not a cause for concern

Source: 1News

A new sub-variant of Omicron has emerged, although the World Health Organisation believes it's not a cause for alarm.

The majority of cases in Denmark are now the new BA.2 sub-variant, although the country is confident in ending most of its Covid restrictions. Across the Channel, health chiefs continue to investigate BA.2, while it is also being tracked in the US.

The new sub-variant was detected in New Zealand earlier this week, although scientists here do not believe it will be any different to the standard Omicron variant.

"At least early on it looks like it's no more deadly and no more prone to cause hospitalisations," University of Otago biochemistry Professor Kurt Krause told 1News.

"This is probably going to be the norm for us, there's probably going to be new variants that continue to every so often get introduced."

BA.2 is being called the stealth variant because it can be hard to pinpoint.

The Ministry of Health says it's still learning about BA.2 and is continuing to monitor international evidence on emerging mutations to assess how they may impact New Zealand's Covid-19 response.

Vaccinations are still the key, Krause said.

"You do get a sense that as the vax for coronavirus evolves that the vaccines will be incorporating more and more of the variants," Krause said.