80YO Telangana native becomes first Indian to test positive for BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron

"An 80 years old male in Telangana has tested positive for the BA.5 variant SARS-CoV-2. The patient has shown only mild clinical symptoms and has been fully vaccinated. The patient had no travel history," Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) said in a statement.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  24 May 2022 3:40 AM GMT
80YO Telangana native becomes first Indian to test positive for BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron

Hyderabad: An 80-year-old man from Telangana with no history of international travel has become the first Indian to test positive for BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron.

"An 80 years old male in Telangana has tested positive for the BA.5 variant SARS-CoV-2. The patient has shown only mild clinical symptoms and has been fully vaccinated. The patient had no travel history," Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) said in a statement.

BA.4 and BA.5 are subvariants of the Omicron variant circulating globally. These were reported first from South Africa earlier this year and are now reported from several other countries. These variants have not been associated with disease severity or increased hospitalization.

Earlier, a 19 years old female in Tamil Nadu has been found infected with the BA.4 variant of SARS-CoV-2. The patient has shown only mild clinical symptoms and has been fully vaccinated. The patient had no travel history.

Before this, a South African 40-year-old traveler was reported positive for the BA.4 variant on arrival at Hyderabad airport. South African man reached India on May 9 to give a lecture at a business school in Hyderabad. He tested positive for the BA.4 subvariant on May 18.

Although the variants led to a surge in South Africa, they did not increase hospitalizations or deaths. India too is unlikely to see an increase in mortality with the current variant because of the hybrid immunity conferred by vaccination and previous infection, including BA.1 and BA.2 sub-variants of Omicron during the third wave of Covid-19 cases.

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