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What you must know about BF.7 variant driving China’s Covid wave that has put India on alert

Photo for representation

The BF.7. variant of coronavirus that is driving the current Covid wave in China and has put India on alert is sub-variant of the Omicron strain.

The BF.7 variant has a faster transmission rate than other strains.

It has a shorter incubation period which means symptoms start showing much faster in patients once they get infected with the virus than the earlier variants of coronavirus.

It has a higher capacity to cause reinfection or infect even those who have been vaccinated.

The BF.7 variant has a higher resistance to vaccines. It has a more than 4-fold stronger neutralisation resistance than the original Wuhan virus which indicates that vaccination-induced antibodies are not as effective in blocking the virus, according to a study that was published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

China’s newspaper  The Global Times cited Li Tongzeng, a physician at Beijing’s Xiaotangshan Hospital as saying that Omicron BF.7 has a greater capacity for immunological escape, a shorter incubation period, and a faster transmission rate, Tongzeng was quoted as saying.

In India, the BF.7 variation has so far been linked to four cases. Two cases each have been reported from Gujarat and Odisha.

The symptoms of the Omicron BF.7 variant include fever, sore throat, runny nose and cough. However, the infection is less likely to spread to the lungs as was the case with earlier variants.

Mansukh Mandaviya, the health minister to wear masks in crowded places as Covid is still not over.

According to the latest figures, India has reported 129 fresh Covid infections over the last 24 hours. The number of active cases in the country stands at 3,408 while one death was also recorded in the last 24 hours.

Countries such as the USA, the UK, Germany, Belgium, France and Denmark have also recorded cases of the BF.7 variant.