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Covid, concern from Great Britain about the new Centaurus variant: what we know

According to what was declared by virologists, this mutation of Sars-CoV-2 seems to have an even higher contagiousness than that of Omicron 5

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Omicron BA.2.75, formerly known as the “Indian variant” and now renamed “Centaurus”, is raising a lot of concern in the UK, where cases are increasing rapidly. This coronavirus mutation was discovered in India in early May and has since been detected in a dozen countries. Among these are the aforementioned United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Canada. According to what was declared by virologists, Centaurus seems to have an even higher contagiousness than that of Omicron 5, so much so that on 7 July the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc) defined it as a “variant to be monitored” . Furthermore, it could be associated with more serious diseases, although data on this aspect of the Sars-CoV-2 mutation is still weak.

The numerous mutations of Centaurus

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Covid, new variant from India: what we know about Omicron BA.2.75

As the Guardian reports, virologists have been alerted by the greater number of mutations present in BA.2.75 than in BA.2, from which it is likely to have evolved. “It is not so much the individual mutations when their numbers that worry us,” said Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, who was the first to identify Omicron as a potential problem in November 2021. “It is difficult to predict the problem. effect of so many mutations together, ”he added. It is “a picture that gives the virus a sort of wildcard property in which the sum of the parts could be worse than each of them. Certainly Centaurus is a potential candidate to replace BA.5 ”. There is also the possibility that it is a “variant of a variant”.

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Virologists’ concerns also stem from the fact that there are around 3 million adults in England who have never received even a dose of the Covid vaccine. The government is trying to tackle the problem, asking specialized agencies to step up their efforts to persuade the undecided and those who have always looked with suspicion at inoculations to change their minds.

According to Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, in addition to vaccinations, a long-term plan should also be considered to prevent infections and reinfections. Among the possibilities listed by the expert is the creation of environments in which it is difficult for the virus to circulate, thanks to the presence of systems that filter or sterilize the air.

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