Latest Covid news: Omicron’s BA.2 sub-variant spreading faster, experts say as latest UK hotspots revealed

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<p>A volunteer paints a heart on the National Covid Memorial Wall in central London, commemorating people who have died from the virus.</p>
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A volunteer paints a heart on the National Covid Memorial Wall in central London, commemorating people who have died from the virus.

(PENNSYLVANIA)

A sublineage of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus can spread faster than the original, an analysis by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has found.

UKHSA said BA.2, a strain first detected in December, had a comparatively higher growth rate in all observed areas of England, meaning cases were rising faster than BA.1, commonly known as the virus. Omicron variant.

Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA Chief Medical Adviser, said: “We now know that BA.2 has a higher rate of growth, which can be seen in all regions of England.

“We have also learned that BA.2 has a slightly higher secondary attack rate than BA.1 in homes.”

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania The news agency has provided an update on the Covid-19 case rates for each UK local authority.

It found that of the 377 local areas, 226 (60 percent) have seen a weekly increase in rates, 150 (40 percent) a drop, while one remains unchanged.

They have revealed the five fastest growing hotspots, including Lisburn & Castlereagh (from 1196.3 to 1841.6), Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon ​​(1422.0 to 1984.5), Ards & North Down (1107 .6 to 1657.5), Woking (1208.9 to 1686.9). ) and Wokingham (1,106.1 to 1,579.8).

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Lung damage discovered in long-term Covid patients suffering from shortness of breath

Some people who suffer from Covid for a long time have developed lung abnormalities, a UK study has found.

The researchers used xenon gas to detect possible lung damage in patients who had not been admitted to hospital but who experienced periods of shortness of breath after having the virus.

Fergus Gleeson, lead researcher on the study and professor of radiology at Oxford University, said: “What we have now found is that, although their CT scans are normal, xenon MRIs have detected similar abnormalities in patients with prolonged covid. .

“These patients have never been to hospital and were not acutely ill when they contracted the covid-19 infection.

“Some of them have been experiencing their symptoms for a year after contracting Covid-19.

He added: “Now there are important questions to answer. For example, how many long-Covid patients will have abnormal scans, the significance of the abnormality we have detected, the cause of the abnormality, and its long-term consequences.

“Once we understand the mechanisms that drive these symptoms, we will be in a better position to develop more effective treatments.”

Emily Atkinson29 January 2022 08:00

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Covid-19 case rates for each UK local authority revealed

The Pennsylvania The news agency has provided an update on the Covid-19 case rates for each UK local authority for the seven days to January 24.

It found that of the 377 local areas, 226 (60 percent) have seen a weekly increase in rates, 150 (40 percent) a drop, while one remains unchanged.

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Newry, Morne & Down in Northern Ireland continues to have the highest rate in the UK, with 3,667 (2,018.5 per 100,000 people) new cases in that week.

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon ​​in Northern Ireland is second, from 1422.0 to 1984.5, with 4311 new cases.

Lisburn & Castlereagh, also in Northern Ireland, has the third highest rate, from 1,196.3 to 1,841.6, with 2,697 new cases.

Peterborough in Cambridgeshire has the highest rate in England (1,757.9 vs. 1,606.4), Newport for Wales (889.8 vs. 683.3) and Aberdeen City for Scotland (581.5 vs. 601, 6).

Emily Atkinson29 January 2022 07:51

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welcome to the independents live blog covering the Covid-19 pandemic for Saturday, January 29.

Emily Atkinson29 January 2022 07:45

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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