KARACHI: A case of BF-7, the highly infectious Covid-19 sub-variant, has been detected in Karachi, the provincial health department reported on Tuesday.
The sample was tested at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS).
According to health department officials, it’s the first case of the highly infectious coronavirus sub-variant in the country. It was detected in a 49-year-old male patient.
The officials said despite BF-7’s immune-evasive characteristics and the worrying signs about its growth in China the variant seems to remain fairly steady elsewhere.
“For example, in the US, it was estimated to account for 5.7 per cent of infections up to Dec 10, 2022, down from 6.6pc the week prior. The Chinese situation and BF-7’s high reproduction rate might be partly due to a low level of immunity in China from the previous infection and possibly vaccination,” the department stated.
According to the latest data, BF-7 is quicker to transmit than other variants. It has a shorter incubation period with a greater capacity to infect people who have previously been infected with Covid-19 or even vaccinated.
Earlier, the provincial health department has confirmed the presence of XBB and XBB-1 sub-variants of the Omicron variant in the city.
The latest health department report showed that 12 patients being treated at hospitals were on ventilator and five new cases were detected over the past two days.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2023
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