Coronavirus variant BF.7 behind China surge, also found in India, has these symptoms

Masks, social distancing in government ‘advice’. (Representative photo)

New Delhi:
Rising Covid cases in China are largely driven by the BF.7 strain of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has also been found in India. The numbers may be small, but that’s why the government is worried, and where you should be wary.

  1. BF.7 primarily causes upper respiratory tract infections, that is, congestion in the higher parts of the chest and near the throat. Fever, sore throat, runny nose and cough are other common symptoms.

  2. Some people may experience stomach-related symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Doctors recommend getting tested right away is important because it can help stop transmission by ensuring early decisions on isolation and resumption of medication.

  3. India has reported fewer than 200 cases a day for several days. As for BF.7, all four cases confirmed so far were between July and October – three in Gujarat and one in Odisha – and the patients have been isolated, treated and recovered.

  4. BF.7 is not very serious, but the real concern is the sheer number of people it can infect because it spreads much faster, making early detection and isolation all the more important. The recovery rate is high, but the absolute death toll may be high if the transmission is greater than that of the earlier variant.

  5. China is currently dealing with what could be the world’s largest Covid outbreak since the coronavirus was first detected in 2019. While official figures from China are scant, Bloomberg cites a study that says it may have recorded 1 million cases and 5,000 deaths a day.

  6. BF.7 has been detected in several other countries around the world, including the US, UK, Belgium, Germany, France, and Denmark. But it doesn’t necessarily behave as dangerously outside of China.

  7. For example, the United Kingdom assessed BF.7 as one of the most concerning variants two months ago and lowered its severity estimate.

  8. In China, its widespread spread may be due to low immunity of the Chinese population to previous infections, or due to vaccination, the report said.

  9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting ministers and senior officials to review the Covid situation in India and has told states to recommend wearing masks and social distancing, especially ahead of Christmas and New Year. Mandatory restrictions have not yet been restored.

  10. The Indian government has started random testing of tourists from abroad – 2% of all visitors who land. Flights to and from China have been banned.

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