Covid-19: What will drive NZ’s next wave?

8 月 22, 2022World News

New Zealand’s next Covid-19 wave will likely be driven by an entirely new variant, experts say – but there’s so far little on the horizon with the potential to fuel another surge. Photo / 123RF


New Zealand’s next Covid-19 wave will most likely be driven by an entirely new variant, experts say – but there’s so far little on the horizon with the potential to fuel another surge.

Most Kiwis have now been exposed to Sars-CoV-2: something which likely helped blunt the impact of a winter wave that’s ebbed to the lowest case count in six months.

That swell of infections was predominantly powered by the Omicron subvariant BA.5, which packed enough mutations to spread further and faster than its predecessor BA.2 – but still ran up against enough immunity in our population to fall short of worst-case peak scenarios.

Scientists have been closely watching a handful of other Omicron sub-types that have slipped into New Zealand, but so far none appear to have caused spikes in cases.

They include the BA.1 and BA.2 hybrid “XE” that arrived here in April but failed to take off; BA.2.12.1, which was linked to widespread infections in the US; and BA.2.75, or “Centaurus”, which featured more mutations in its spike protein than even BA.5, but has similarly hovered at low levels here.

Genomic sequencing has also identified local cases of BA.4.6 – dubbed “Aeterna” by healthcare experts – and while it’s now responsible for just over five per cent of US cases and rising, it’s not considered a pandemic game-changer.

That’s despite it carrying a particular spike protein mutation, named R346T, that’s linked with an increased ability to dodge virus-fighting antibodies.

News

About Us

Taiwan Cloud Environmental Technology Co., Ltd

(TCET)

HeadOffice:2F, No. 128, 1st sec. Freedom Road, Taichung403, Taiwan.

TEL:+886 4 22257222