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Omicron BA.2 variant: 53 cases of 'new' variant in UK – everything you need to know

Researchers have previously used this to detect cases of Omicron, meaning the sub-variant is more tricky to spot.

The virus emerged in late 2021, and there is little evidence if it is either more transmissible or vaccine-resistant.

Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, said there is not a “strong handle on antigenicity, severity” or “much evidence for how much more transmissibility BA.2 might have over BA.1”.

BA.2 has, so far, caused the most cases in India and the Philippines, with infections also detected in Germany and Denmark.



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