Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Omicron BA.5 lineage still dominant – NCIPD

Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) said on September 13 that it has completed the sequencing of 332 samples taken from Covid-19 patients in the country, which showed the BA.5 lineage of the Omicron strain and its subvariants remained dominant in the country.

All 332 samples, taken over a period of time ranging from July 6 to August 23 in 24 out of Bulgaria’s 28 districts, displayed evidence of the Omicron variant or one of its lineages.

The BA.5 lineage and its subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as BA.5.x, is the main driver of the most recent coronavirus wave globally. Initially detected in South Africa in January 2022, BA.5 is categorised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern lineage under monitoring.

These are defined as subvariants that show signs of “transmission advantage” to other lineages and have “additional amino acid changes that are known or suspected to confer the observed change in epidemiology and fitness advantage as compared to other circulating variants.”

BA.5.x was found in 240 cases or 72.3 per cent of the total sample size, compared to 73.2 per cent of the samples in the previous batch sequenced by NCIPD and announced on August 12.

The previously dominant BA.2 lineage and its subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as BA.2.x, was found in six samples or 1.8 per cent of the total.

The remaining samples showed evidence of several other lineages of the Omicron strain – 10 cases of the BA.4.x lineage, 41 cases of BE.x and 35 cases of BF.x lineages.

As of August 1-September 1, 13 patients in the NCIPD sample group had died, one was in quarantine, 35 were in hospital, 88 were undergoing home treatment and 195 had recovered.

(Top photo: Military Medical Academy)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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