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Another worrying omicron mutant, BA.2.75, found in South Korea

People line up to take a COVID-19 test at a public health center in Songpa, southern Seoul, on Thursday. On this day South Korea announced 39,196 cases and 16 deaths. (Yonhap)
People line up to take a COVID-19 test at a public health center in Songpa, southern Seoul, on Thursday. On this day South Korea announced 39,196 cases and 16 deaths. (Yonhap)

South Korea on Thursday confirmed the first case of BA.2.75, another omicron subvariant that is rapidly gaining ground in India and several other countries.

The patient, who is in his 60s, lives in Incheon and has no recent travel history, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

The KDCA said the BA.2.75 patient tested positive Monday and started experiencing symptoms around three days prior to testing. He is isolating at home, so far in a stable condition. He has not come into close contact with anyone during the time he would have been infectious.

“BA.2.75 is one of the worrying subvariants of omicron that is being closely watched for its transmissibility, intrinsic virulence and immune evasion,” the KDCA said in a press release.

Since being first detected in India on May 26, BA.2.75 has spread to at least 10 other countries as of the latest update from the World Health Organization.

One of South Korea’s first two known BA.5 patients was also a resident of Incheon, a city with the country’s busiest international airport. BA.5, which accounts for 35 percent of cases analyzed by the KDCA, is on course to becoming the dominant virus here.

Last month South Korea stopped requiring inbound travelers to quarantine regardless of their vaccination status.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)
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