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Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 30, 2023  5 months, 4 weeks, 1 day, 20 hours, 56 minutes ago

BREAKING BA.2.86 News! BA.2.86 Found In More Countries. 4 Sequences In Sweden,1 Sequence In Canada And In Waste Water In New York!

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BREAKING BA.2.86 News! BA.2.86 Found In More Countries. 4 Sequences In Sweden,1 Sequence In Canada And In Waste Water In New York!
Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 30, 2023  5 months, 4 weeks, 1 day, 20 hours, 56 minutes ago
BA.2.86 News: In the last few hours, more worrisome news are emerging as sequences of the BA.2.86 variant have also been found in more countries including Sweden, Canada and also in the waste water in New York.  Scientist are also saying that more sequences are also emerging by the hour from across the world and are currently being validated before any announcements.

In Sweden, 1 sequence of BA.2.86 was found from Stockholm (7th of August), 2 from Vasternorrland (18th, 19th). Details of the fourth sequence were not disclosed.
Canada also identified its first case of a coronavirus infection stemming from the extensively altered BA.2.86 variant of Omicron. This occurrence took place in British Columbia and involved an individual who had not embarked on any journeys beyond the confines of the Pacific province. Health authorities affirmed this revelation.
The affected individual is not presently admitted to a hospital, and the discovery of the BA.2.86 virus iteration has not resulted in any modifications to the threat level for the residents of British Columbia. This information was conveyed through a collaborative statement issued on Tuesday by the region's chief medical officer, Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Reports and BA.2.86 News coverages have also emerged that the BA.2.86 variant was detected in waste water samples in New York, making it the fourth state in America where the BA.2.86 variant has been discovered after Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.
Meanwhile even more concerning is the fact that more cases of BA.2.86 are emerging in Denmark. Besides the initial 4 cases, 6 new cases have emerged bring the total to 10.

If we were to include all sequences detected from infected individuals as well as detected in waste water samples, then BA.2.86 have now been detected in over 12 countries i.e. Israel, Denmark, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Canada.
While at the moment there is no apparent threat from the BA.2.86 variant as it does not seem to cause any disease severity despite having over 30 mutations on it, scientist are concerned as they do see evolutionary changes still occurring in all the BA.2.86 samples they have identified so far as there are slight variations in terms of mutations from each other. What it might eventually evolved int o or what spawns it can produce is worrying and should a recombinant event occur between it and another more transmissible sub-lineage, there could also be more problems.
To add to a more concerning situation, already the coming new COVID-19 vaccines that include the XBB.1.5 spike protein inside it might not be totally effective the newer spawns of the EG.5.1 variant such as HK.1 etc and worse, should the BA.2.86 or any of its newer spawns become predominant by Autumn or Winter, these new vaccines would be of no use!
It should also be noted that while the world is extremely focused on this BA.2.86 variant just because of the many mutations found on it, there are also many more worrisome SARS-CoV-2 sub-lineages emerging that are not being paid attention to. Sometimes it is not the number of mutations that matter but rather what type of mutations are being found and what these mutations are capable of causing.
Recently, another SARS-CoV-2 sub-lineage was discovered in India that bears three new spike mutations that enhances fusogenecity that leads to increased disease severity.,-11-sequences-of-new-variant-discovered-in-india-with-triple-mutations-that-enhances-fusogenicity
The number of cases involving that sub-lineage has also been growing in recent days since we last mentioned about it with one case also detected in Singapore now. Yet no countries are paying attention to it. Being a derivative of the XBB.1.16 variant that is more transmissible, its silent spread could be occurring undetected!
There are many more different SARS-CoV-2 sub-lineages emerging but with many countries doing very minimal genomic surveillance and in some cases, there are even countries that have completely stopped genomic sequencing completely, it is now very difficult for scientists, virologists and variant hunters to effectively track the evolutionary behavior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to monitor what worrisome sub-lineages or variants are emerging in various geolocations across the world.
One thing is certain, we can expect some surprises this coming Autumn and Winter of 2023 and it is not going to be good.
In the meantime, we at Thailand Medical News, strongly advise all to revert back to masking, practicing the right and proper COVID-19 preventive measures including social distancing and the installation of proper air filtration and air disinfecting devices in all schools, hospitals, offices, malls, restaurants and all indoor public places. Simply ignore the COVID-19 minimizers or those spreading conspiracy theories or the idiots talking about non-existent lockdowns etc.
For the latest BA.2.86 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.
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