New sub-variant shows Covid isn’t done yet, virologist warns



New sub-variant shows Covid isn’t done yet, virologist warns

geemong

15 Jul 2022 at 22:24
New sub-variant shows Covid isn’t done yet, virologist warns



The fact new sub-variants of Omicron are still being found shows Covid “isn’t done”, a leading virologist has warned.

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Dr Stephen Griffin, from the University of Leeds, says a fascinating feature of the most recent BA.2.75 sub-variant, nicknamed Centaurus, is the many changes that have occurred to its spike protein – the protein on the outside of the virus, which allows it to enter our cells.

“And it’s made those changes against the background of an already successful form of the virus [BA.2, which was spreading in April] – which all suggests the virus isn’t done with changing,” he tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He adds it's the “the unique characteristic of these number of changes and the combination of changes” that means Covid sub-variants are still being flagged by the World Health Organisation.

Asked how severe the new sub-variant is, Dr Griffin says severity is determined by a number of factors – including whether someone is taking medicines or has an underlying illnesses – but that it's positive BA.2.75 "hasn’t been growing in communities outside of India”.