All you should know about BF.7 Covid variant
Be cautious against doing away with all the precautions.
SARS-CoV-2 is now a human virus and it is around us.
Coronavirus is mutating and mutations can create many variants and subvariants.
A new coronavirus subvariant has been identified and is dispersing quickly over the world.
The new variation has been identified as BF.7, also known as BA.184.108.40.206, and is the result of virus ongoing evolution to become more immunologically evasive.
What is BF.7 variant?
Viruses mutate and create sub-lineages and lineages like the main trunk of the tree SARS-CoV-2 tree has numerous branches and sub-branches.
BF.7 is a sub lineage of the previous omicron variant BA.5 and it has:
- shorter incubation period (as soon as one encounters BF.7, it infects immediately)
- strongest infection ability
- higher capacity to cause reinfection or even infect vaccinated individuals
Do we need to worry about?
The first case of BF.7 was detected in October by Gujarat Biotechnological Research Centre and two cases have been detected in Gujarat and one in Odisha.
People should not panic and take the vaccination and wear masks in crowded places especially those with health conditions.
A study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe revealed that the sub-variant of the virus, called as BF.7, has a 4.4-fold higher resistance to neutralization than the original D614G version (Wuhan virus).
This means that the antibodies generated from the infected individuals or vaccinated individuals are not able to destroy the virus.
Symptoms of Covid BF.7:
Symptoms of these variants would be same as previous variants which are:
- runny nose
- throat irritation
- nose block
- shortness of breath
- few instances of loss of smell and taste
- with body pain as the predominant one and will emerge more with time.
People who are carrying this variant can spread the virus, they themselves being asymptomatic.
This variant may not lead to any severe complications, but it can spread faster. So, early detection and isolation is very important.
Why BF. 7 spreads faster than other variants?
It is said that this variant of omicron BF.7 is more immunologically evasive and can counter antibodies present in people due to previous infections or vaccinations even in fully vaccinated individuals.
They also seem to bind better, which means that only few viral particles are enough to cause infection so a little exposure to this variant can infect the individual.
How India’s situation may be better than china amid new Covid wave:
Experts have predicted that at least more than half of the population of china and almost 10 % of world would be affected by this new variant.
However, India is at the alert related to the spread of this virus.
India’s situation may be better than china as almost the entire population of India has been fully vaccinated with two doses.
India has witnessed three Covid waves, plus India is vaccinated and a mix and match of natural and vaccine led immunity makes the situation of India better than China.
Precautions to be taken:
People should not panic about this Covid variant but should be careful and take necessary precautions.
- Avoid crowded places and meet minimum number of people possible.
- Avoid international travel if it’s not important
- Maintain social distancing
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer and follow cough etiquette.
- Restart wearing mask covering mouth and face, it also protects the people from pollutants as well.
- If someone is showing the symptoms, then immediately isolate themselves and get tested, this could protect the vulnerable group like children, elderly, cancer survivors, cancer patients, transplant patients.
- Get your vaccination booster
- People should get vaccinated with booster doses as, if the immunity of community is high then only the level of transmission will decrease.
- The booster dose exhibit mild side effects such as viral and flu symptoms including redness and pain at the injection site.
- However, the benefits of booster dose is very much higher than its side effects and the side effects must not prevent us from taking the booster doses.
- The benefits of the vaccination booster outweighs the risk of infection.
People should always be alert and cautious and realize that coronavirus is around us.
The discipline is the only way to stop the spread of the infection !