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Jul 12, 2022

Omicron BA.5 Sub-variant Identified in Belize

We’ve been hearing about the BA Five sub-variant in other countries and now it has been confirmed to be in Belize. The Ministry of Health and Wellness issued a press release today, stating that forty samples that were processed between June first and twenty-eighth, and all were of the Omicron variant. While the majority – thirty-nine to be exact – was of the BA Two sub-variant which has been in Belize, one was of the new BA Five variant. The BA Five and the BA Four sub-variant are among the predominant sub-variants circulating at this time across the world, including the United States where most of our tourists come from. Patients with these variants present various symptoms, from runny nose, to sore throat, headache, tiredness, cough, body aches and fever. As of July second, the BA Five sub-variant was responsible for nearly fifty-four percent of COVID cases in the U.S. The Ministry advises that there is still significant evidence that while some research has shown that the BA Five sub-variant may evade the protection of neutralizing antibodies from previous infection and vaccination by three or four times more than previous variants and sub-variants, vaccines do protect against severe symptoms and death from COVID-19. The Ministry goes on to advise people to get vaccinated and boosted if you have not done so, and to wear a face mask, particularly in crowded areas. And the vulnerable population such as the elderly, pregnant women, and people who already have underlying medical conditions should take extreme caution, and continue to exercise the hygiene practices. Meanwhile, the ministry has released the regular COVID stats for the last five days. It shows that the average infection rate per day is around a hundred and forty new cases.


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