Omicron BA.5 the most infectious of all variants, respiratory expert warns
The Omicron BA.5 subvariant can spread faster than any other subvariants before it and can cause reinfections, Vichaiyut Hospital respiratory specialist Dr Manoon Leechawengongs warned on Wednesday.
In a Facebook post, Manoon posted a screenshot of an article headline from the Fortune website titled “Move over, measles: dominant Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 could be the most infectious viruses known to man”.
“The latest BA.5 subvariant is especially infectious and could be the most infectious virus to date,” Manoon said.
“A person who contracted the original Covid-19 virus found in Wuhan could spread it to an average of 3.3 persons, while Delta patients could spread Covid to 5.1 persons,” he pointed out.
“However, Omicron variants have taken the infection rate to another level, with the BA.1 subvariant being able to spread to 9.5 persons, and BA.5 to 18.6 persons,” he added.
Chickenpox has an average spreading rate of 12 persons and measles 18 persons.
“It is possible that the new Omicron subvariant could be even more infectious, such as BA.2.75, which has just been discovered in India and needs to be studied further,” Manoon warned.
“Luckily, the new subvariants do not cause more serious symptoms than their predecessors. However, people are advised to protect themselves from infection by wearing face masks, washing their hands regularly and maintaining a social distance,” he advised.
“Most importantly, go get a booster shot at suitable intervals to keep your immunity high,” he recommended.