Monday, May 16

Covid-19. Study confirms BA.2 subvariant is more contagious than Omicron

The results of a new Danish study are clear: the “sub-variant” of Omicron, BA.2, is more contagious than the original BA.1.

According to this new study from the Danish Infectious Diseases Control Authority (SSI), published on Monday*, “if someone in your household is infected with BA.2, there is an overall risk of 39% that a another member of the household is infected during the first week”. “On the other hand, if the person is infected with BA.1 (note: the original Omicron variant), the risk is 29%”.

Unvaccinated more likely to be infected

Dominant in Denmark where it dethroned Omicron, BA.2 is according to preliminary calculations one and a half times more contagious than BA.1, had noted the SSI on January 26. “Unvaccinated people are also more likely to be infected with BA.2 compared to BA.1,” insisted Camilla Holten Møller, a doctor at SSI.

The study further shows that vaccinated people, and especially those who received a booster, are much less likely to be infected.

Despite a record number of cases, a 43% increase in new infections having been recorded over seven days, Denmark of 5.8 million inhabitants is preparing to lift all restrictions on Tuesday, citing its high vaccination coverage and the lesser severity of the Omicron variant.

In France, according to Santé Publique France, over the last two weeks of December, the variants overwhelmingly belonged to the “BA.1” sub-lineage, with only 60 sequences for “BA.2” identified by sequencing.

*The study was carried out by SSI researchers in collaboration with Danish universities from December 20 to January 18. It covers some 18,000 people.

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