Everything you need to know about 'Centaurus' – the 'most resistant' Covid variant yet | The Sun

VIRUSES have the ability to mutate into different more deadly and more infectious versions of themselves.

And Covid is no exception.

The latest version of the virus, a subvariant of Omicron called BA.2.75.2, is raising alarm bells among health professionals.

So far, the strain has been reported in 47 countries, including the UK and US.

Subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are currently the most dominant strains in the Britain.

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as 6 September 2022, there were 100 cases with BA.2.75 in the UK.

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Of these, 89 were in England, seven in Scotland and four in Wales.

Why is the subvariant worrying experts?

The new strain, dubbed Centaurus on Twitter, has the ability to evade the immunity provided by current vaccines, according to one Swedish study.

The same researchers found new strain can’t be neutralised by many of the antiviral drug treatments available.

But the findings of another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine were more encouraging.

One antiviral, called Bebtelovimab reported to work against the variant as well as other antiviral treatments like remdesivir, molnupiravir and Paxlovid.

The Swedish experts predicted this version it could become the dominant strain and cause another wave of the virus.

Meanwhile, Professor Jonathan Ball, a virologist from Nottingham University said it's too early to predict what the subvariant might do.

"The next wave could very likely come from another virus envolved from a different variant.

"We also rely on memory B cells (which are part of the immune system) to protect us from viruses, and they're more robust (than antibodies)," he explained.

However, it's worth baring in mind that Omicron, has been proven to be milder than others that came before it, such as Delta and Alpha.

Because of this, the majority that catch the bug, have reported symptoms similar to a cold.

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How well do vaccines work against BA.2.75.2?

Right now, no one really knows.

Human studies of the updated bivalent Covid-19 vaccine's effectiveness on BA.2.75.2 haven't finished yet.

The new jabs, which have shown positive results, target two other Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.

Where did BA.2.75.2 come from?

BA.2.75.2, emerged from the BA.2.75 subvariant.

It’s growing quickly around the world, particularly in India.

Although BA.2.75.2 accounts for only 0.5 per cent of cases so far around the world.

The subvariant is currently "under observation" by the UK Government as it's considered to be a variant "of concern."

It's being tracked separately from other variants in order to hopefully prevent surges in infections.

What are the current symptoms of Covid?

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE Covid study, recently issued an update on the most common symptoms being logged on the ZOE Covid Study app.

The following 10 symptoms were the most common:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Headache
  3. Cough (no phlegm)
  4. Blocked nose
  5. Runny nose
  6. Cough (with phlegm)
  7. Sneezing
  8. Hoarse voice
  9. Muscle pains and aches
  10. Fatigue

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Covid-19 infections in the UK have risen 72 per cent since last month, according to the latest figures by the ZOE app.

There are currently an estimated 176,090 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK, while the Office for National Statistics Infection Survey suggests around one million people are currently infected.

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