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COVID-19, the virus which shook the entire world with its first emergence in China's Wuhan city in the year 2019 is one of the deadliest virus outbreaks that mankind has faced. From infecting the lungs to damaging the brain, the virus can wreck havoc once you get infected. However, in the past few weeks, many countries have been witnessing a steep fall in the daily COVID cases, following which the governments are lifting up restrictions that were in place to contain the spread of the virus infection. But, are we really safe? is the COVID pandemic finally over? Not really, according to the global health body, the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID is here to stay.
After the Delta variant, which triggered the ferocious second wave of COVID-19 in India, the current 'Variant of Concern' was Omicron. However, this variant has also mutated to form another contagious strain. An Omicron subvariant, known as BA.2, which appears to spread 30 per cent more easily, has made up 3.9 per cent of all infections, up from 1.6 per cent in the week ending January 29, fueling worries the country may not return to normal as planned.
Why experts are worried about this sister lineage of Omicron? According to a report by National Public Radio, BA.2 is found to have quickly overtaken the original Omicron in South Africa and other countries and has even caused a second Omicron surge in Denmark. And looking at the situation of the US where the government has lifted all the COVID restrictions, experts fear that the same could happen in the US and cautioned that the spread "may be on track to rapidly accelerate in the near future."
According to a study published this February in Nature Medicine, the risks of cardiovascular disease of all types increased substantially in the year following Covid-19 infection. Experts estimated there might be millions of new-onset cardiac cases related to the virus, plus a worsening of the disease for many already affected. "We are expecting a tidal wave of cardiovascular events in the coming years from direct and indirect causes of Covid," The Washington Post reported, citing Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, President of the American Heart Association.
(With inputs from IANS)
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