IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


22nd December, 2022 Health


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  • At least four cases of the Omicron sub-variant BF.7, the Covid strain driving China's current surge of cases, have been detected in India so far.

What do we know about BF.7?

  • When viruses mutate, they create lineages and sub-lineages — like the main trunk of the SARS-CoV-2 tree sprouting branches and sub-branches. The BF.7 is the same as BA., which is a sub-lineage of the Omicron sub-lineage BA.5.
  • The BF.7 sub-variant has a 4.4-fold higher neutralisation resistance than the original D614G variant — meaning that in a lab setting, antibodies from a vaccinated or infected individual were less likely to destroy BF.7 than the original Wuhan virus that spread worldwide in 2020.



  • The mutations in the spike protein have slowed down, there hasn’t been a massive change in around a year. This is why we haven’t seen any new variant emerge, just sub-lineages. 
  • But SARS-CoV-2 is now a human virus and it is here to stay. There could be an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the winters, when we usually see an increase in all respiratory infections.”