The BA.4 variant was first detected from a specimen collected on 10 January 2022 in Limpopo, South Africa, and has since been detected in all South African provinces. BA.5 was also first detected in South Africa, this time from a sample collected on 25 February 2022 in KwaZulu-Natal. It has also spread to other provinces.
Why These 2 Variants?
BA.4 and BA.5 share many of the same mutations as the original Omicron variant, but have more in common with the BA.2 variant. The two sub-variants are often discussed together because the mutations in their spike protein gene are identical, even though they differ in mutations found elsewhere.They are the primary reason for resent outbreak
Which Deadly Mutations Do They Carry?
Both new variants carry an L452R mutation, which was also reviously detected in the Delta variant, and is thought to make the virus more contagious by enhancing the virus’s ability to attach to human cells;and F486V mutation, near where their spike protein binds to human cells. This may also help them partially evade our immune response.
Are vaccines protective?
Yes, people who are vaccinated are likely to develop milder Infection and can prevent hospitalisation