State reports FIRST case of super mutant variant – .

State reports FIRST case of super mutant variant – .

Queensland has reported two cases of the Omicron super variant of Covid-19 as health authorities report a new ‘world first’ strain of the virus.

A Nigerian quarantined at a Cairns hotel has tested positive for Omicron, state Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Wednesday morning.

He had landed in Cairns from Sydney on Jetstar flight JQ950 on December 3, with all other passengers now considered close contacts.

A South African man has also tested positive for the super variant, but health officials say his infection is slightly different genetically and has been dubbed ‘Omicron Like’.

The South African man is in isolation in a quarantine facility at a Brisbane hotel.

Ms D’Ath confirmed that Omicron has now been classified into two lineages by the international committee, and both have been detected in Queensland.

She said the new strain was the ‘first in the world’.

“We are here to announce a new version of Omicron and this is a world first,” she said.

Queensland has recorded two cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, but health officials say there are differences between them (travelers pictured at Brisbane airport)

Chief health officer Peter Aitken said experts were able to distinguish between the two Omicron cases.

‘[They] recognized that there are differences between the full and normal Omicron classification, forwarded it to the international committee in a very quick period of time, ”he said.

“This has now led to a reclassification of Omicron.

“It (Omicron Like) has enough genes to be classified as Omicron, but we don’t know enough about what that means in terms of clinical severity, vaccine effectiveness.

“What we do know is that Omicron is more infectious and more transmissible. ”

When identifying the original variant of Omicron, the labs reported that when using PCR tests, one of the three target genes is not detected, according to the World Health Organization.

This is called the S gene drop which the new subline does not have, said acting Dr Aitken.

‘Normal’ Omicron has around 30 different genetic modifications, while the new subline has around 14.

Dr Aitken said that despite Queensland’s open borders, in many ways the ‘Covid journey has only just begun’.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath (pictured) has confirmed that Omicron is now classified into two lineages by the international committee, and both have been detected in Queensland

“What the arrival of Omicron means – we now have Omicron and Omicron Like – reminds all of us that when we open our borders it doesn’t mean the Covid journey is over,” he said.

Neither case is considered seriously ill.

The CHO said more cases are likely to emerge in the coming weeks.

“We were able to flatten the curve to develop a vaccine, we now have an 80% vaccine rollout, but as we move into that next phase we go from elimination to elimination,” said Dr Aitken.

“It’s going to be a tough time… cases are going to happen, we expect them to peak. “

No new cases were detected in the Queensland community on Wednesday.


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