Heavily-Mutated Omicron BA.2.75 From India Found In Los Angeles County For First Time

One day after it was revealed that a new highly-mutated Omicron subvariant had arrived in California, Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced the first case had been unidentified in Los Angeles.

BA.2.75 has a large number of mutations when compared to its sister Omicron lineages. Some of those adaptations could allow the virus to bind onto cells more efficiently, said Matthew Binnicker, director of clinical virology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. BA.2.75 was first sequenced in May in India, where it has spread rapidly.

A very early analysis of data from India by Raj Rajnarayanan — who is Assistant Dean of Research, NYITCOM at Arkansas State University — indicates that BA.2.75 may have a growth advantage over BA.5. It is unclear, as yet, whether BA.2.75 makes people sicker than previous variants.

Since it was first identified, the subvariant has been spotted in “about 14 countries,” according to WHO Covid-19 Technical Lead, Maria Van Kerkhove. Those include Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

States with sequenced BA.2.75 infections are California — with two cases — and one each in Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington. The California cases were found in Bay Area wastewater samples from mid-June, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

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