Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 detected in NZ

On Friday afternoon, analysis of whole genome sequencing confirmed two cases in New Zealand

The Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 has been detected in New Zealand for the first time.

On Friday afternoon, analysis of whole genome sequencing confirmed two cases in New Zealand with BA.2.75.

Before testing positive for Covid-19, both cases had recently travelled from India, where this subvariant has been detected.

"The Ministry regularly assesses the latest evidence on variants to ensure that our public health settings are appropriate," says an MOH spokesperson.

"At this stage, there is no evidence that BA.2.75 requires a shift in public health settings already in place to manage other Omicron variants."

BA.2.75 is a recently identified second generation subvariant of BA.2, the dominant variant circulating in New Zealand at this stage. BA.2.75 has only been recently identified as distinct from BA.2, and evidence on its transmissibility, immune evasiveness and severity is still preliminary and emerging.

"We do know BA.2.75 has some characteristics that looks like they may enhance its ability to evade immunity, similar to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, and there is some early evidence overseas that it may be slightly more transmissible that BA.2.

"There is no current evidence that it leads to more severe disease, although assessing the evidence is at a very early stage."




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