1st cases of newest omicron subvariant BA.2.75 detected in US: 3 notes

BA.2.75 is the latest omicron relative catching experts' attention, with three cases recently identified on the West Coast, Time reported July 11. 

Two cases were detected in California and one in Washington as of July 8, according to data from Helix, which works with the CDC on viral surveillance. 

The subvariant is gaining traction in India and has also been detected in 10 other countries. 

Two more things to know: 

1. The variant has a large number of mutations that may make it adept at spreading more quickly and evading antibody protection. Experts have expressed concern it could be even more transmissible than the now dominant BA.5 variant, which has been touted as "the worst version of the virus we've seen," based on its ability to evade immunity from vaccination and prior infections. Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, in a July 4 tweet cited a breakdown of BA.2.75, writing "[Eight] mutations beyond BA.5, many in the N-terminal domain, which could make immune escape worse that what we're seeing now." 

2. It's been detected in several states in India and appears to be spreading faster than other strains there, experts told Time. "It's still really early on for us to draw too many conclusions," Matthew Binnicker, PhD, director of clinical virology at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, told Time. "But it does look like, especially in India, the rates of transmission are showing kind of that exponential increase," adding that it is too soon to tell whether it will outpace BA.5.


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