BREAKING! Emergence Of A New SARS-CoV-2 BA.2.56 Sublineage That is More Neuropathogenic Emerges In Japan, Causing More Cases Of Viral Encephalitis!
A new SARS-CoV-2 BA.2.56 sublineage
has emerged in Japan and has been spreading for the last 12 weeks in the country and slowly gaining predominance in circulation.
The new BA.2.56 subvariant has in addition to all the signature mutations of the BA.2 variant has the additional spike mutation L452M.
The new BA.2.56 sublineage
however has the R226K mutation in the ORF1a region, the mutations H69Y, L452M, W886L on the spike region and the mutation A31S on the ORF3a region.
The new sublineage was first detected in sequences from Hyogo prefecture but has now been spotted all over the country including the latest in Kochi prefecture.
: The new BA.2.56 sublineage has been designated as the BA.2.56.1 subvariant i
n the last few hours.
Local doctors and medical researchers claim that the new BA.2.56 sublineage is more neuropathogenic ie has a better affinity and mode of infecting and attacking the nervous tissues and constituents of the central Nervous System or CNS including the brain.
This claim though not yet validated scientifically is attributed to the rise of viral encephalitis cases in those infected with the new sublineage as observed in local hospitals.
Viral encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by a virus. The most serious potential complication is permanent brain damage.
Most individuals with viral encephalitis have mild flu-like symptoms, such as:
Headache, Stiff neck, Fever, Aches in muscles or joints and Fatigue or weakness.
Sometimes the signs and symptoms are more severe, and might include:
Confusion, agitation or hallucinations, Seizures, Loss of sensation or being unable to move certain areas of the face or body, Muscle weakness, Problems with speech or hearing and Loss of consciousness (including coma).
In young children and infants, signs and symptoms might also include: Bulging in the soft spots (fontanels) of an infant's skull, Nausea and vomiting, Body stiffness, Poor feeding or not waking for a feeding and Irritability.
Japanese researchers and doctors are warning that along with the debut of the new BA.2.56
sublineage, they have witnessed a corresponding rise in cases of viral encephalitis especially among children who seem to be more vulnerable to this new sublineage.
Already local Japanese media reported of a death of child from viral encephalitis. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220607/p2a/00m/0na/028000c
There are at present more than 47 cases of children hospitalized with viral encephalitis at present in Japan and also 5 adults and more cases are investigated.
Encephalitis due to the SARS-CoV-2 is not new as cases were documented even in published studies in early 2020.
However Japanese researchers are convinced that the new BA.2.56 sublineage is more neuropathogenic as most infected patients seems to be manifesting neuro issues much earlier during the initial days of infection.
A detailed study is currently being conducted by spearheaded by researchers the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and Kyushu University.
It should be noted that the BA.2.56 subvariant was first detected in certain parts of Europe and it is not known if there are also cases of viral encephalitis rising there due to the possibility of a similar sublineage also emerging there.
There are strong suspicions that the new BA.2.56 sublineage is well adapted at using certain chemokine receptors to better gain entry to the brain where it initially starts to cause neuroinflammation before actually damaging the brain.
Parents should take extra precautions to prevent their children from getting infected with the new emerging BA.1, BA.2, BA,4 and BA,.5 variants and sub-variants as already it is now known that certain BA.1 and BA.2 sub-variants can induce hepatitis in young children as well via a T-cell autoimmune trigger. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-chinese-study-indicates-that-hepatitis-in-children-could-be-due-to-autoimmune-t-cell-response-triggered-by-sars-cov-2-orf1ab-a1061s-mutation
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