the first cases of BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants detected in France

Two new Omicron sublines, BA.4 and BA.5, were identified in early April and are subject to increased surveillance based on their genetic profile, announces Public Health France in its latest risk analysis on new SARS variants. CoV-2 released this week. This increases the number of sub-lines of the Omicron variant, which is largely dominant in France, to five.

First cases detected on the territory

However, the health authority reports that only one case of BA.4 and two cases of BA.5 have been identified in France. These two sublineages, recorded mainly in South Africa, are quite similar to BA.2, explains Santé Publique France, but their spike protein has three other mutations.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has classified BA.4 and BA.5 as “variants to watch” and asked that they be carefully monitored.

“This call for vigilance is based solely on the genetic profiles of BA.4 and BA.5”, would like to reassure Public Health France. “They are not associated with an epidemiological or clinical situation of concern in South Africa, where they mainly circulate,” stresses the agency, explaining that this vigilance is mainly due to the fact that BA.4 and BA.5 have a significant portability factor, similar to that of the Delta variant. “It is important to determine what impact this mutation might have on the genetic background of Omicron,” argues the health department.

BA.2 “ultradominant” in France

The situation in France in terms of circulating variants is currently stable, with a dominance of Variant Omicron, also reports Public Health France. More specifically, it’s the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron variant that exists now “ultradominant”which corresponds to 99% of the cases studied.

In its report, Public Health France also confirms that the Omicron variant has a high transmissibility and Immune Escape, meaning that the immunization protection is less effective and less stringent. “An important factor in Omicron’s competitiveness is the significant evasion of the immune response”we can read in the analysis, apropos “limited protection against infection”, but emphasize the effectiveness of the vaccine against heavy forms stays very high with Omicron. “It is therefore imperative to maintain a high level of immunity, including by administering booster doses as soon as necessary.”She believes.

The health department also notes that loss of smell and taste are less common with Omicron infections than with other variants. Likewise, severe forms are rarer.

“In the current epidemiological context, the incidence remains very high high, it is important to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 as much as possible, regardless of the variant.”remembers Public Health France. “This control includes respecting barrier gestures and following recommendations in case of Diagnosis of an infection or close contact with a case. It is also important to continue to protect vulnerable individuals, in whom even Omicron can induce severe forms. »

Omicron variant sub-lines during Public Health France flash surveys. | PUBLIC HEALTH FRANCE

The impact on critical care remains stable

In addition, in France, the number of people hospitalized due to Covid-19, as well as the impact of these admissions on intensive care, remained stable, according to data from the health authorities this Friday: 1,645 people infected with the coronavirus are currently in intensive care at the hospital, the Indicator most checked by the authorities, of which, according to data from Public Health France, 153 have been recorded in the last 24 hours. Those numbers were 1,652, including last Friday’s 209 registrations.

A total of 24,883 patients are currently hospitalized for this disease, including 1,829 new admissions, compared to 24,909 hospital admissions, including 1,953 new admissions over the past week.

The number of people who have died in hospital from this infection in the past 24 hours also remains stable (139 on Friday, 143 a week ago), with a total of 144,945 deaths over the age of two since the pandemic began.

Newly recorded cases of Covid-19 also stand at 88,389. The average of infections over the past seven days, smoothing out the daily jerks, has fallen to 84,516 from 124,965 a week ago.

On the vaccination side, according to the Ministry of Health, 54.3 million people have received at least one dose (80.6% of the total population) and 53.4 have a full vaccination schedule (79.2%).

Covid19. Omicron: first cases of BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants detected in France

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