Covid 19 variants’ transmissibility not always linked to severity, expert says


With the emergence of a new sublineage of Covid-19 variant Omicron called “XE”, its faster transmissibility than the BA.2 subvariant was first noted, and an expert reminded that it does not correlate to a relatively more severe form of the virus.

“Hindi naman necessarily na kapag mas nakakahawa ay mas severe (It does not necessarily mean that if it’s more contagious, it’s more severe),” Dr. Lulu Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination said during the Laging Handa Public Briefing on Tuesday, April 12.

Making an example between the Delta variant and Omicron, Bravo said that Omicron quickly spread in the country yet fewer people were hospitalized or got ill with a severe Covid-19 infection as compared to the surge brought about by the Delta variant.

Yet Bravo also mentioned that another factor that contributed to this is the high vaccination rate of the country during this period.

Omicron XE, a recombinant of BA.1 and BA.2 sublineages, has been discovered to have a faster transmission than BA.2 or “Stealth Omicron” by 10 percent.

It can be remembered that Stealth Omicron was the dominant sublineage that has caused community transmissions of Covid-19 in the country back in January, according to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC).

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