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Jamaica confirms Omicron BA.2 variant

Posted: Friday, April 22, 2022. 11:28 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Jamaica has identified the presence of the Omicron BA.2 variant of the COVID-19 virus in two cases of 89 samples taken between January 1 and March 4 and tested at the National Influenza Centre, University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), last week, according to Loop News.

The Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie explained that the new variant is currently dominant globally and is similar in type of illness to the BA.1 variant. Its high level of transmission could lead to an increase in cases, she specified.

Dr McKenzie added that while the majority of cases appear to be mild, there is a risk of severe illness for persons with co-morbidities such as obesity and diabetes and even persons with mild to no symptoms may still be at risk for developing long-COVID.

Jamaicans, like others in the region, are advised to continue handwashing, social distancing where possible, and using masks where necessary in order to avoid the virus.

 

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