Contagious Omicron subtype detected in Latvia

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A more contagious sub-type of the variant of Covid Omicron has been identified in Latvia, Latvian Television reported February 7.

Sergejs Ņikišins, head of the National Reference Laboratory of the Eastern Hospital, told LTV that three percent of the virus samples that have been sequenced have shown a subtype that is even more contagious than the existing Omicron. 

"Then what do we know about the type of Omicron? It currently has three subtypes– first, second, third. The first has 33 mutations. The second, which now comes in, has 31 mutations, fewer by two, but that mutating combination is different. And that makes this subtype actually a little more contagious. According to Danish data, it is 30% more contagious if we compare to that first Omicron," Ņikišins said.

The head of the laboratory pointed out that the new type of Omicron already dominates in Denmark and is spreading more rapidly among young people. Both the Delta and the Omicron are currently circulating in Latvia. The variant of Omicron has become dominant in several cities of Latvia, for example, in Jelgava, Jūrmala, Valmiera, Jēkabpils and Salaspils.

Meanwhile Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) spokeswoman Ilze Arāja told LTV that repeated infection with Covid-19 is becoming more prevalent. Last week and the week before, 9.3% and 8.9% of all cases respectively were repeated infections. 200 people in Latvia have been reported to have had Covid-19 three times.

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