Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Omicron strain found in all 74 samples – NCIPD

Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) said that it has completed the sequencing of the latest group of samples taken from Covid-19 patients in the country, finding the Omicron coronavirus strain in all 74 samples.

NCIPD said that the samples, taken over a period of time ranging from November 24 last year to January 11 this year in nine out of Bulgaria’s 28 districts, showed that the XBB.1.5 lineage and related subvariants, which NCIPD collectively referred to as XBB.x, was no longer the dominant one in the country.

The subvariant found in the largest number of cases was BA.2.86. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has currently designated BA.2.86, as well as XBB and certain of its sublineages, as variants of interest.

The data also showed the re-emergence of one of the early Omicron variants, BA.2, which was last the dominant one in Bulgaria in the summer of 2022, before being overtaken by other variants of the novel coronavirus, to the point that the ECDC removed it from its list of variants of concern in March last year.

NCIPD’s latest sequencing dataset showed the BA.2.86 subvariant was present in 28 cases, or 37.8 per cent of the total, and the BA.2 variant in 22 cases, or 29.8 per cent.

The remaining samples were 13 cases of the XBB.x lineage, four cases of the FL.x lineage, three cases of the FY.1.2 subvariant, two cases of the EG.x lineage and one case apiece of the GJ.1.1 and HF.1 subvariants.

As of January 25, six patients in the NCIPD sample group had died, two were in hospital, 26 were undergoing home treatment and 40 had recovered, NCIPD said.

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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