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Covid: with the new Centauro variant, the epidemic already sets the tone for the coming months

The new variant BA.2.75, also known as Centaur, may well take hold and keep the epidemic going until this winter. Until the next.

It was in India that the new variant BA.2.75 appeared, seen in at least 70 positive test sequences in recent days, indicating the spread of a new lineage of Covid. The BA.2.75 or “Centaur” variant is actually a new version of the Omicron BA.2 variant, which currently dominates in Europe and is reigniting the epidemic.

More precisely, it is the Omicron (BA2) subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 that are essential today in France, as confirmed by Santé Publique France, and now reaching a peak as shown by sequencing rates.

“The Omicron BA.5 sublineage has been predominant for two weeks” and now accounts for 67% of interpretable sequences, compared to 18% for BA.2.”, stands out Public Health of France. “We observe a gradual replacement of BA.2 by BA.5”adds the health authority.

Here is the most recent image of the new BA.2.75 sublineage (nickname: “Centaurus”) – a “second generation” evolutionary leap from BA.2.

India continues to report very rapid growth, now up to 23% of recent samples.

A few more samples have been reported in other countries.

—Mike Honey (@Mike_Honey_) July 6, 2022

Still, with reports of a new variant, the risk of the epidemic continuing to circulate, variant after variant, under lineage after underline, becomes almost inevitable.

The recently published sequences to date solidify the impression that BA.2.75 is on a strong rise in India and elsewhere, in particular also relative to BA.5 at least in the Indian context. 1/2

—Ulrich Elling (@EllingUlrich) July 8, 2022

According to the first elements reported by the medical community, nothing indicates that Centaur is more virulent or causes other symptoms, but the first scientific data shows that it would be more resistant to antibodies.

[#COVID19] New epidemiological update of July 07, 2022
\u27a1\ufe0f Strong increase in the circulation of SARS-CoV-2: compliance with combined measures remains essential, especially during this summer holiday period
\ud83d\udcc4 Read PE

– SantépubliqueFrance (@SantePublicFr) July 8, 2022

Just certainty, it spreads of course. The Centaur has thus been detected in Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, among others. Five infections have been detected in the UK and two more in Germany.

It is also known that a recent analysis suggested that “the impact of BA.2.75 will depend on the history of infection” and that those who have had a BA.1 infection before would be more vulnerable to reinfections than with the BA2 variant.

And while BA.2.75’s impact on the epidemic remains unpredictable, experts predict that, like BA2, Centaur is very likely to spread rapidly to the point of becoming dominant in the coming weeks and months.

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