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New variant of COVID-19 drives virus surge in France, says immunologist



Brigitte Autran

– The BQ.1.1 subvariant of COVID-19 currently has priority over the BA.5 subvariant in France, immunologist Brigitte Autran, chair of the Committee for Monitoring and Anticipation of Health Risks (COVARS) told news channel BFMTV on Wednesday. .

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The latest resurgence of COVID-19, according to her, is the “beginning of a wave”, although the increase in the number of cases “is not significant yet”.

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“The trend is not good, it is on the rise” due to the subvariant of the virus, he said.

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BA.5, the subvariant of the original Omicron subvariant of COVID-19 that has been prevalent in France, “has already been superseded, swept away by the BQ.1.1 subvariant, which is the baby of BA.5,” he explained.

“This variant is more contagious and explains the current increase in the number of new cases,” he said.

Autran said that the BQ.1.1 subvariant is currently being observed around the world. “We still don’t know if it is worse”, but it is understood that it is more contagious, so it is absolutely necessary to protect yourself and get vaccinated.

He called on the eligible population to receive booster vaccines, arguing that “vaccines guarantee protection against severe forms of COVID and against death.”

He also reiterated the need to respect barrier measures, including the use of masks, at least on public transport and in crowded spaces. ■


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