Should we worry about Centaure, the new alternative from Omicron?

It started spreading in India at the beginning of May. Since then, the BA2.75 variant, the latest version of Covid-19, has spread to ten countries around the world. While its severity is currently still unknown, the potential for a mutation worries Anglo-Saxon specialists, as previously noted. guardian This is Wednesday.

Two and a half years after our forced encounter and coexistence with Covid-19, the emergence of another type of virus no longer surprises us. Over the months, the global patient base covered the distance from alpha to delta in the Greek alphabet. Then mankind became familiar with Omicron and its many branches. Each of these new incarnations of the disease raises the same disturbing question: Are we witnessing the emergence of a more contagious and severe version of the coronavirus? That’s why the discovery of a new variant, dubbed BA2.75 or “Centaur,” in recent weeks has scientists worried.

International health institutions still maintain their response to the potential increased harm of Centaur compared to its predecessors, but experts point to the possibility of a surge. Concern guardian echoed here.

wide circulation

To find out better, it is first about retrace his origins. It originally appeared in India in early May. And within two months of its existence, it already had time to reach ten countries including the United Kingdom as well as the United States, Australia, Germany and Canada. The list that RTL is still adding Japan to.

The Centaur variant has yet to be discovered in France at this point, but the season helps boost its rotation, biostatistician Geert Mullenbergs noted, speaking to the Belgian daily. newsblad. “After spreading rapidly in India, we should see it spread across the world at high speed this festive season,” he said, according to a translation he gave in particular. free belgium.

Mutation issue

Thus, the fluidity of this new version of SARS-CoV-2 is not in doubt. Its seriousness, on the other hand, is still ambiguous. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control is waiting to see it…but watching. The agency had already classified it as a “variable to watch” last Thursday. Who is also vigilant. However, the enterprise He explained That data is still too little at this point to make a religion about it.

But on the British side, we are already concerned about one dimension of this emerging problem: the changes involved. Thus Tom Peacock, a virologist affiliated with Imperial College London, with guardian: “It’s not so much about the mutations per se, it’s about their number and their combinations. It’s hard to predict the effect of so many mutations that appear together – they kind of give the virus a carte blanche where the sum of the fragments is more harmful than those captured individually.”

For now, the Centaur variant is above all a matter of expectations.

Robin Werner BFMTV journalist

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