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COVID-19.  The first case of the BA.2.86 strain, nicknamed “Birola”, was found in France

COVID-19. The first case of the BA.2.86 strain, nicknamed “Birola”, was found in France

Sainte-Publique France told AFP on Thursday, August 31, that the first case of the Covid-19 BA.2.86 variant was detected in mainland France, in the Grand Est region. Confirms daily information Parisian.

The National Institute of Public Health has also mentioned it “Initiated an investigation to gather epidemiological information to document this first case”.

A variant with a large number of mutations

BA.2.86 is an omicron variant that presents a large number of mutations. On August 21, 2023, Étienne Simon-Laurier, head of the National Reference Center for Respiratory Infectious Viruses (including influenza and Covid-19) and evolutionary geneticist of RNA viruses at the Institut Pasteur, noted in our columns. Included in the list of surveillance species of the World Health Organization “Without a doubt” Because “Strong differentiation with dominant variants (Thirty Mutations of the Spike Gene, Editor’s Note). The BA.2.86 lineage shows a higher number of mutations compared to BA.2, which appears to be its closest ancestor. »

Last week, Brigitte Audron, chair of the Health Risk Monitoring and Prediction Committee (Covers), also confirmed this. “High number of mutations”, He made a difference “More significantly evolved and more easily spread”.

read more: COVID-19. BA.2.86 Why is variation followed so quickly?

It has already been detected in other countries

AFP notes that this variant has already been detected in several countries, such as the United States, Denmark or Israel, but not yet in France.

Experts don’t expect this new variant, nicknamed “Brola” on social networks, to cause an increase in infections. “When alpha, delta, or omicron variants were transmitted, we observed comparable levels of severe disease and death compared to what we had previously done during epidemics.” François Bouloux, chair of bioinformatics at University College London, commented recently.

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