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What is Omicron BF.7 variant; all you need to know

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 22 December 2022, 11:29 IST
Omicron BF.7 variant

So far, India has reported four cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7, the strain steering China's current rise in Covid-19 cases. The cases were confirmed by official sources in the health ministry on Wednesday.

According to sources four cases have been reported since July this year. While three have been detected in Gujarat, one case has been traced to Odisha.

What is BF.7, the sub variant of Omicron?

-The BF.7 is an abbreviated form for BA. It is a sub-lineage of the BA.5 Omicron variant.

-The BF.7 variant is reportedly more infectious than the other variants.

-According to reports, the BF.7 is capable of infecting even those fully vaccinated.

-The BF.7 variant is believed to have a reproduction value, which means persons infected with the variant are very likely to pass on the virus to others.

-BF.7 accounted for more than 5 per cent of Covid cases in the US and 7.26 per cent in the UK in October.


Persons infected with the BF.7 variant may experience symptoms similar to other sub-variants. Common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea.

The BF.7 is likely to cause severe illness among those with pre-existing medical conditions.


According to Dr Amitabha Ghosh, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram, one must maintain proper hygiene, wear a mask, wash hands, to prevent the infection. He says that people with low immunity must be extra cautious while vaccine and booster shots can be useful in preventing mortality and complications of the Omicron subvariant BF.7.

"Till now it is not clear which age group it affects the most but it is certain that people with low immunity are at a higher risk. Also, now that people are more exposed to COVID and its variants, they are automatically developing immunity against this virus and the upcoming variants. With the help of vaccines and booster shots, people are now able to tackle the virus in a better way and it has helped in preventing of the complications of the subvariants," Dr Ghosh told Hindustan Times.

"It is imperative that one must follow COVID appropriate behaviour and rules as laid by the local bodies in order to control the spread. With restrictions eased out worldwide and the festive season in-swing, it is important to continue mass vaccination drive. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate is the most important strategy to check this infection and its community outbreaks," Dr Charu Dutt Arora, Consultant Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist Head, Ameri Health, Asian Hospital, Faridabad told Hindustan Times.

Also Read: Amid global COVID surge centre briefs states to ensure genome sequencing, step up surveillance

First published: 22 December 2022, 10:28 IST