Bananas in Pajamas? No, BA.2 is a sub-variant of Omicron and it’s mooted to be even more infectious than other variants. Now there’s research coming out of Japan that suggests it could also be a whole lot more virulent:
‘When the researchers infected hamsters with BA.2 and BA.1, the animals infected with BA.2 got sicker and had worse lung function. In tissues samples, the lungs of BA.2-infected hamsters had more damage than those infected by BA.1.’https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/17/health/ba-2-covid-severity/index.html
The CNN article contains a link to the actual journal article so I clicked it. Doing so gave me access to the PDF of the research. I understood the abstract, kind-a, and the discussion, kind-a, not much in the middle, but what impressed me was the dogged persistence of the researchers. Every time their experiments came up with unexpected results, they changed the focus of the experiments to investigate the new leads…like detectives.
That dogged persistence, and the quality control the Japanese are known for, convinced me that this is no error-riddled study dashed off between breakfast and lunch. And that makes their conclusion even more chilling:
If the Japanese research is confirmed, BA.2 could become our worst nightmare at a time when most states here in Australia are easing up on restrictions and opening their borders.
In NSW :
In Victoria, some restrictions on density and QR codes will be eased but ‘… mask requirements are to remain in place for the time being.’ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-17/victorian-government-covid-restrictions-new-deaths-cases/100838490
Thank you, Dan Andrews. At the rate that BA.2 is spreading, there should be definitive data available long before we throw caution to the winds.
“It looks like we might be looking at a new Greek letter here,” agreed Deborah Fuller, a virologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who reviewed the study but was not part of the research.https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/17/health/ba-2-covid-severity/index.html
Since the beginning of February, 2022, Denmark has removed all pandemic restrictions. Denmark also happens to be the only country in Europe where BA.2 is well and truly the dominant strain. This is a graph of the death toll in Denmark:
If you click the worldometers link and hover your mouse over the very end of the line on the graph, you will see that the data is for February 18, just two days ago. Only time will tell exactly how virulent BA.2 really is, but I’m not dumping my mask any time soon.
My thanks to Mole for bringing the Japanese research to my attention…our attention. Stay safe my friends.