COVID-19 News: Deadly COVID-19 Associated Pneumonia Rising In Many Parts Of The World Including Italy, China, Japan, Etc! Are The BF Variants At Play?
: While researchers, experts and health authorities in many parts of the world are claiming that new Omicron variants, sub-lineages and recombinant variants that are currently in circulation are not as pathogenic and serious as the Delta variants, in the last few weeks we are witnessing the incidence of COVID-19 associated pneumonia rising in many parts of the world.
During the initial surges in the COVID-19 pandemic that involved the Wuhan wildtype strain and also the alpha and delta variants, pneumonia and ARDs incidences were high but when the Omicron variant and sub-lineages emerged, such incidences were literally down except in the vulnerable groups.
China was the first country in late December 2022, where reports first emerged about deadly pneumonia and also ARDs being more of a common occurrence while also the phenomena of ‘white lungs’ being seen in many even with asymptomatic or mild symptoms.
Reports are now emerging that many countries are also witnessing the similar rise in COVID-19 associated pneumonia although the health authorities and most mainstream media in those countries are trying to conceal or down this sudden rise again.
Italy for instance has reported that there has been a rise of hospitalizations in COVID-19 individuals due to respiratory failure and pneumonia since late December and early January 2023.
Japan where disease severity, hospitalizations and deaths rates have been increasing over the last 6 weeks also has the same issue ie pneumonia being the cause of most COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.(refer to various COVID-19 News
coverages in Japan in Thailand Medical News.)
Hong Kong is also beginning to see similar increase in disease severity and also hospitalizations and deaths.
One interesting point to observe is that the various BF variant sub-lineages are among the predominant variants in circulation in China, Italy, Japan and gradually increasing at a very low and ‘silent’ levels in countries like Hong Kong, Germany, Denma
The BF variant has already spawned so many different sub-lineages including the BF.7.14 variant that is currently predominant in China and also various concerning BF.5 variants in Japan, etc
Some of the BF sub-lineages have also being causing interesting anomalies in Taiwan since late 2022.
We at Thailand Medical News strongly believe that the BF variant and its sub-lineages are the more concerning variants and the ones that we should look out for at the moment and not what the European, Canadian and Chinese virologists and variant trackers on twitter are focusing on such as the various XBB lineages such as the XBB.1.5 alias Kraken, or CH.1.1 or the some of the new recombinant variants or even variants with the F486P mutation.
Urgent studies are needed on the immune evasiveness of the BF Variant, its mechanism of affecting the host immune system, and its possible tropism towards the lung alveolar cells and tissues and also its ability to even cause reinfections in people already previously infected with the same sub-lineages and its viral persistence abilities. There is something definitely odd about this variant based on some of the reports that we have been getting!
There are currently more than 66 different BF sub-lineages identified. The mutations on the ORF7, ORF 8 and ORF 9 are something that should also be studied in detail.
Thailand Medical News will provide more updates on the BF Variants
For the latest COVID-19 News
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.