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COVID CLIMBS Fears rise over FIFTH Covid wave after first case of new ‘variant of concern’ detected in Ireland

The first case of the new Covid “variant of concern” detected in Ireland raises fears of the fifth wave.

ECDC designated BA.4 and BA.5 as variants of concern earlier this month.

First BA.4 case in Ireland.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s infectious disease epidemiologist, confirmed the classification earlier this month.

This sparked fears of a new wave of cases in the coming weeks.

“We don’t know yet how severe BA.4 and BA.5 are,” she said.

The two new variants are “more easily transmissible” than the earlier BA.2 variant.

 

Fears rise over FIFTH Covid wave after first case of new

 

Professor Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry and immunology at Trinity College, called BA.2 a “sister of Omicron” and the “most infectious virus” ever.

Dr. Van Kerkhove said BA.4 and BA.5 are more transmissible than BA.2, the dominant Covid-19 strain in Ireland and globally.

“BA.4 and BA.5 have growth advantages because they’re more transmissible,” she said. Surveillance and sequencing are important.

“This virus still needs to be carefully monitored throughout the process because it continues to adapt. We are unable to predict with absolute certainty how it will develop.”

At the beginning of this year, researchers in South Africa made the initial discovery of the new strains, which have since taken the lead in that country.

According to Dr. Holohan, the two strains have a greater potential to spread because they have the ability to circumvent the immunity that is conferred by having had a previous infection or being vaccinated, which gradually wears off over time.

According to the report he submitted on the 13th of May, the epidemiological situation in Ireland is still positive on the whole.

But he added that in the following weeks “we will need to continue to monitor developments with emerging variants.”

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