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Covid evolving differently: Experts on how new waves will emerge

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If it has been predicted earlier, the Covid virus has started evolving differently. Compared with the first two years of the pandemic when variants seemed to appear out of nowhere, Tulio de Oliveira, a bioinformatician at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, who had detected the emergence of BA.4 and BA.5, pointed out new waves of coronavirus are periodically emerging from already circulating strains, for example, Omicron.

However, experts warned “we shouldn’t rule out more such surprises from SARS-CoV-2." Within six months since its emergence, the Omicron coronavirus variant evolved with several subvariants and currently, two new offshoots - BA.4 and BA.5 that are once again driving a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Studies BA.4 and BA.5 — are slightly more transmissible than earlier forms of Omicron1, and can dodge some of the immune protection conferred by previous infection and vaccination.

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