New immune-evasive strains of highly transmissible Omicron subvariant spread in N.B. – CBC

BQ.1, BQ.1.1 and BF.7, offshoots of BA.5, detected between August and October, Department of Health confirms

Nov 18, 2022

Some offshoots of the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant BA.5 — sparking concern due to their growth advantage and signs of immune evasion — are in New Brunswick and spreading.

The sublineages BQ.1, BQ.1.1 and BF.7 represented nearly 27 per cent of the roughly 195 samples sent for sequencing in the past week, according to data provided by the Department of Health.

A combined total of 338 cases have been detected in the province between August and October, but they’ve never been announced in any of the weekly COVIDWatch reports.

They would have been listed under the umbrella of the highly transmissible BA.5, which has been the dominant strain in New Brunswick for months and represented 94 per cent of the most recent samples sent for sequencing, as of Tuesday’s report.

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