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時間:2022-08-18 來源:本站 點擊:258次

Omicron 'sub******

Scientists are keeping a close watch on a recently-discovered sub-variant of the Omicron version of the COVID-19 virus to determine how its emergence could effect future pandemic spread.。

The initial Omicron variant has become the dominant virus strain in recent months but British health authorities have notably identified hundreds of cases of the latest version, dubbed BA.2, while international data suggest it could spread relatively quickly.。

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) identified more than 400 cases in Britain in the first ten days of this month and has indicated the latest variant has been detected in some 40 other countries, accounting for a majority of most recent cases in some nations including India, Denmark and Sweden.。

The UKHSA indicated on Friday it had designated the BA.2 sub-lineage as a variant under investigation (VUI) as cases of it were on the increase even if, in Britain, the BA.1 lineage currently remains dominant.。

The authority underlined that "there is still uncertainty around the significance of the changes to the viral genome," which required surveillance as, in parallel, cases in recent days showed a sharp rise in BA.2 incidence notably in India and Denmark.。

"What surprised us is the rapidity with which this sub-variant, which has been circulating to a great extent in Asia, has taken hold in Denmark," French epidemiologist Antoine Flahault told AFP.。

Scientists must evaluate how the virus, which has engendered the worst global health crisis in a century, continues to evolve and mutate. Its latest incarnation does not possess the specific mutation used to track and compare BA.1 against Delta, the previously dominant strain.。

BA.2 has yet to be designated a variant of concern – but Flahault says countries have to be alert to the latest development as scientists ramp up surveillance.。

"(France) expected a spike in contaminations in mid-January: It didn't happen and perhaps that is due to this sub-variant, which seems very transmissible but not more virulent" than BA.1, he observed.。

"What interests us is if this (sub-variant) possesses different characteristics" from BA.1 in terms of contagiousness and severity, France's public health agency said Friday.。

To date, only a handful of BA.2 cases have emerged in France – but the country is monitoring developments as they spread across the Channel.。

'Comparable severity'

Flahault, director of the University of Geneva's Institute of Global Health, says the watchword is not panic but "vigilance" as "for now we have the impression (BA.2 case) severity is comparable to" classic variant Omicron cases.。

"But there are numerous questions on the table" and a need to monitor properties of the new variant on the block.。

"Very early observations from India and Denmark suggest there is no dramatic difference in severity compared to BA.1," tweeted Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College, London, adding the latest variant should not call into question the effectiveness of existing vaccines.。

Peacock stressed that "we do not currently have a strong handle on ... how much more transmissibility BA.2 might have over BA.1. However, we can make some guesses/early observations."

He added that "there is likely to be minimal differences in vaccine effectiveness against BA.1 and BA.2. Personally, I'm not sure BA.2 is going to have a substantial impact on the current Omicron wave of the pandemic.。

"Several countries are near, or even past the peak of BA.1 waves. I would be very surprised if BA.2 caused a second wave at this point. Even with slightly higher transmissibility this absolutely is not a Delta-Omicron change and instead is likely to be slower and more subtle," he forecast.。

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday that BA.2 did not look as if it would prove a game-changer as variants appear on the scene "fairly regularly". But he indicated he would reserve judgment.。

"What we know for now is that (BA.2) more or less corresponds to the characteristics that we know of Omicron" mark one.。

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Chelsea, Liverpool stroll, while Man Utd crash again in Premier League******

LONDON, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chelsea remain clear leaders of the Premier League after a convincing win away to Leicester City on Saturday lunchtime.。

Thomas Tuchel's side produced a clinical performance against Leicester and had the game all but wrapped up inside the first half hour thanks to goals from Antonio Rudiger and N'Golo Kante.。

Former Leicester defender Ben Chilwell had already shot against his old team's crossbar before Rudiger headed in his 14th minute corner, and Kante, another former Leicester player, doubled Chelsea's lead in the 28th minute with a powerful left-foot shot.。

Christian Pulisic made it 3-0 on 71 minutes, with the only disappointment for Chelsea being an injury to key midfielder Jorginho, who was replaced with 13 minutes left to play.。

Liverpool remain three points behind in second place after giving Arsenal a reality check and ending the recovery of Mikel Arteta's side with a 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal.。

Jurgen Klopp's men dominated virtually from start to finish, with Sadio Mane opening the scoring in the 37th minute after a cross from Trent Alexander Arnold.。

Diogo Jota scored an excellent individual goal in the 52nd minute as Liverpool upped the pressure and their dominance led to further goals from Mohamed Salah, after good work from Mane, and Minamino who finished the tout in the 77th minute, just moments after coming on as a substitute.。

Things got worse for Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his side were beaten 4-1 away to struggling Watford, to give Claudio Ranieri his second win since taking over at Vicarage Road.。

It started to go wrong for Solskjaer before kick-off when Mason Greenwood was ruled out with Covid-19 and they could have been down in the opening minutes only to be saved by David de Gea, who twice blocked Josh King's twice-taken penalty.。

King put Watford ahead from close range in the 28th minute and Sarr doubled Watford's lead on the stroke of halftime.。

Donny Van de Beek pulled a goal back for United in the 50th minute, but Harry Maguire's sending off made things harder for them and Watford completed Solskjaer's misery with two goals in injury time from Pedro and Emmanuel Bonaventura to again put Solskjaer on the brink.。

Steven Gerrard got off to a winning start at Aston Villa as his side won 2-0 at home to Brighton to end a five-game losing streak.。

Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings scored the goals in a much-improved Villa performance, although the fans were made to wait with the goals coming in the 84th and 89th minutes.。

Gerrard's predecessor at Villa Park, Dean Smith also got off to a winning start at bottom of the table Norwich as his new side beat Southampton 2-1.。

It was defeat to Southampton a fortnight ago that cost Smith his job at Aston Villa, but goals from Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley turned the game around for Norwich and gave Smith some revenge after Che Adams had put Southampton ahead.。

Raul Jimenez 56th minute goal decided a tight game between Wolves and West Ham United, who pressed hard after falling behind, but failed to create enough clear chances.。

Burnley and Crystal Palace shared six goals in a topsy-turvy game at Turf Moor, where the lead swapped hands twice before both sides settled for a point. Christian Benteke netted twice for Palace along with Marc Guehi, while Ben Mee, Chris Wood and the impressive Cornet hitting the target for the home team.。

There was no winning start at Newcastle for Eddie Howe, whose side were held to a 3-3 draw by Brentford.。

Howe missed his first game in charge after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday and it was another chaotic and entertaining affair with Jamaal Lascelles putting Newcastle ahead in the 10th minute, only for Ivan Toney to equalize a minute later.。

Rico Henry then gave Brentford the lead, only for a rare Joelington strike to bring Newcastle level. An own goal from Lascelles then put Brentford back in front, but Allan Saint Maximin saved a point with 15 minutes left to play, although Newcastle are now bottom and remain without a win all season. Enditem。




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