Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Omicron strain found in all but one of 90 samples – NCIPD

Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) said on March 6 that it has found the Omicron coronavirus strain in all but one of the 90 samples taken from Covid-19 patients in the country.

NCIPD said that the samples, taken over a period of time ranging from January 1 to February 2 in 16 out of Bulgaria’s 28 districts, showed a wide distribution of Omicron descendent lineages, but again showed that the BA.5 lineage and its subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as BA.5.x, was no longer the dominant one in the country.

The strain was the main driver of the global coronavirus wave in the second half of 2022. Initially detected in South Africa in January 2022, BA.5 is categorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern lineage under monitoring.

BA.5.x was found in 18 cases or 20 per cent of the total samples, compared to 16.1 per cent of the samples in the previous batch sequenced by NCIPD, the results of which were announced on January 20.

NCIPD’s latest sequencing dataset showed the BF.x lineage was present in 20 samples, including 15 cases of the BF.7 sub-lineage. It also found 19 cases of the BQ.x lineage and 17 cases of the BN.x lineage.

The remaining samples were two cases of the CH.x lineage, one case of the CK.1 subvariant, two cases each of the CL.1 and CR.1 subvariants, three cases of the EF.x lineage, four instances of the XBB.1.5 subvariant and one case of the XBJ subvariant.

The one non-Omicron case detected by the NCIPD was AY.92, a subvariant of the Delta strain and the first Delta case found in Bulgaria since March 2022.

As of February 2, 14 patients in the NCIPD sample group had died, one was in hospital and six were undergoing home treatment, with 62 recovered and seven under quarantine, NCIPD said.

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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