WHO tracking four different versions of Omicron

The World Health Organization (WHO) expects a more transmissible version of Omicron to increase in circulation around the world, though it is not yet clear if the subvariant can reinfect people who caught an earlier version of the omicron strain, CNBC reported.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, said Tuesday the global health agency is

tracking four different versions of Omicron.

Van Kerkhove said the BA.2 subvariant, which is more contagious than the currently dominant BA.1 version, will likely become more common.

BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1 so we expect to see BA.2 increasing in detection around the world,

The WHO is monitoring BA.2 to see if the subvariant causes an increase of new infections in countries that saw a rapid increase and then a sharp decline in omicron cases, Van Kerkhove said.

She emphasized that there’s no indication of a difference in the severity of infections caused by either subvariant, though she noted that research is ongoing.

Van Kerkhove said the shots remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, though they don’t prevent all infections. She called on people to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors.

Cover photo: Getty Images

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