Even though the latest wave of Covid is dissipating, the level of risk remains same. On March 5, Maria Van Kerkhove, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Covid-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that the severity of BA.2 and BA.1 subvariants of Omicron is alike, and that there is also a BA.3 line among all Omicron lineages. On the one hand, this remark provides hope that the previously thought to be severe BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is as mild as the BA.1 subvariant, but on the other hand, the discovery of another subvariant sends a warning that the coronavirus is far from ended.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), multiple sublineages of Covid variant Omicron are being tracked, including BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3. The world health organisation is also looking at real-world data to see if these Omicron subvariants can induce “more severe disease” in hamsters under these experimental conditions.

In January, a study titled “Emergence of Omicron third lineage BA.3 and its Importance” was published in the Journal of Medical Virology to learn more about this Omicron sublineage. It clarifies how international health organisations should approach Omicron BA.3.

Here we take a look at all that we need to know about BA 3 omicron virus.

What is Omicron BA 3:

Omicron was first discovered in Botswana in November 2021 and was classified by WHO as the fifth concern variety. Omicron was also discovered as the most mutated version of SARS-Cov-2, which had spread to 150 nations by January 8, 2022. BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3 are three Omicron strains. Studies have shown that both BA.1 and BA.2 strains have different spike proteins,  but  the BA.3 strain, which is a combination of  mutations in BA.1 and BA.2 spike proteins, has no specific mutations in its spike proteins.

How contagious is Omicron BA 3?

The study discovered that 31 of the 33 mutations in the BA.3 lineage spike protein are also prevalent in BA.1. In these three lines, the BA.3 lineage produced the fewest cases. As a result, it’s possible that the loss of six mutations from BA.1 or the acquisition of two mutations from BA.2 was the reason for the BA.3 lineage spreading slowly and causing fewer cases, according to the research,

Omicron is thought to cause minor disease, but “it is also conceivable to generate some mutations” that can lead to significant illness, according to the study.

What are the different levels of severity and symptoms associated with Omicron?

While little is known about the severity of the three sub variants’ effects, except that they all have similar effects, which is understandable given that they share the same parental variant, according to a Forbes report from January 2022, “We emphasise that BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3 differ from one another in the same way that the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants differ. There are several mutations that differ across the three. We believe that these differences will be reflected in each variant’s septic features, which will alter growth rate, innate immunity suppression, pathogenicity, and vaccine evasion.”

Sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, body soreness, and fever are all common signs of Omicron Covid disease.

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