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All About the New Sub-variant of Corona: Omicron Variant BF.7

Dec 22, 2022

New Variant of Corona

Covid-19 is not over yet!

We’ve been hearing news of the surge in Coronavirus cases in China. Well, the Omicron sub-variant BF.7 that is responsible for these cases in China is now knocking at our doorsteps in India.

Four cases of the new omicron variant BF.7 have been confirmed in India so far after being first identified in July. This new sub-variant has already triggered global alarm after being detected in several other countries, including Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, the US and the UK.

This brings us to question whether this new variant of Corona will cause a fresh wave in India. How infectious is it? What are its symptoms? 

Read this blog further to find all the answers. 

What Is Omicron BF 7?

Covid has evolved; over the past couple of years, we’ve seen several sub-variants. One of its variants is the Omicron, first reported in South Africa on 24 November 2021 by the Network for Genomics Surveillance. It is a contagious infection with a very high mutation rate and transmissibility. However, the Omicron variant has comparatively milder symptoms. Omicron BF 7 and BA.5.1.7 are its new sub-variants. 

Recently a new subvariant of Omicron- BF.7 has become the cause of rapidly spreading COVID infections in China.

BF.7’s Immune-Evasive Characteristics

Omicron BF 7

As per a recent study, the researchers have discovered enhanced neutralization resistance in all new sub-variants of the Omicron strain. The most recent variant, BF.7, which is wreaking havoc in China, has a much higher neutralization resistance than the original COVID-19. This new strain can dodge the immunity build and antibodies created from previous vaccinations and infection. 

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How Dangerous Is Omicron Sub-variant BF.7?

We already know that the mutant variant of a virus has an advantage over the wild-type virus. The same is the case for Omicron BF.7. 

  • Studies show that BF.7 has a RO value of approximately 10-18.6, which means that an infected person can transfer the virus to 10-18.6 people around him. 
  • It has a shorter incubation period and can infect people in hours. Therefore, it is difficult to detect the virus through RT-PCR tests. 
  • BF.7 can surpass the antibodies acquired from previous infections and vaccinations and has a better binding ability. This means only a few viral particles can cause infection. And hence, BF.7 has a very high transmission ability.

BF.7 also has immune-evasive characteristics and is fast-mutating, making it more virulent. People who still need to take the vaccinations are at high risk. Also, elderly citizens, children, people with multiple co-morbidities and pregnant females are more susceptible to infection. 

What are the Symptoms?

Omicron Symptoms

The symptoms of BF.7 infection are similar to those associated with other Omicron sub-variants. It primarily causes upper respiratory symptoms. Infected patients have - 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny nose 
  • Fatigue

Some patients might also experience gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.


Omicron Prevention

To help prevent complications from the subvariant and curb its transmission, it is recommended that we all wear masks in crowded places and practice social distancing. In addition to that, getting vaccinated is also highly recommended. Vaccinated people must also get their booster dose in time. 

Guidelines Issues By Indian Medical Body

The Indian Medical Association has alerted the public about the new variant – Omicron BF.7 and also appealed to everyone to follow COVID appropriate behavior. Here are some of the recommended guidelines: 

  • Use face masks in all public places.
  • Maintaining social distancing.
  • Regular hand washing with soap and water or using sanitizers.
  • Public gatherings like marriages or meetings etc. to be avoided.
  • Avoid International travel.
  • Consult the doctor in case of any symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, loose motions etc.
  • Get your COVID vaccination including precautionary dose at the earliest.

Remember, the most important thing is to take all the necessary precautions and maintain distance from people who have symptoms like cough, fever and sore throat.

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Auther Details

Kashika Walia

Kashika Walia is a Senior Content Writer at PrepLadder. She is devoted to give her readers easily digestible and high-value content that makes their journey towards their dream career incredibly easy.


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