Variants Emerging: ‘There are worrying mutations’

COVID variants are still on the rise everywhere in Quebec, data from the National Institute of Public Service of Quebec (INSPQ) shows.

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BA.2, which belonged to 42.7% of cases in the county on April 17, lost a little space to BA.2.12.1, which increased significantly.

BA.2.12.1, which comes to us mainly from the United States, represented only 0.4% of cases on April 17, while as of May 22, it was found in 14% of cases.

The BA.4 and BA.5 that were not detected on 17 April are on the rise, accounting for 2.3% of BA.4 cases and 3.6% for BA.5.

BA.4 and BA.5 multiply faster. It is estimated that BA.2.12.1 doubles in five and a half days, and BA.4 and BA.5 need 4 and a half days. In the medium term, they are the ones who end up winning the fight,” explains pharmacist Diane Lamarie during her time with Mario Dumont.

The rise in cases is explained, among other things, by a mutation in the virus, which makes the vaccine less effective.

“There are mutations of concern. We know of certain situations on the genome that cause these variants to escape immunity. Unfortunately BA.4 and BA.5 contain these mutations. This raises concerns that people who have been partially or fully vaccinated may be less protected from These two variables. It is the antibodies that do not recognize them as enemies that must be killed,” he gave as an example.

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These variables explain the dramatic rise in cases in France and Portugal in particular.

“In France, between Wednesday and now Friday, it has increased significantly. They are worried a little, but not much,” notes Ms. Lamarie, though.

So Canadians who travel and go on vacation can bring these species home.

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