COVID! This word has now become a part of our lives and with each passing year, our tolerability as well as immunity towards it is on an upward trajectory.

With the advent of the new Omicron BF.7 Variant causing a strict lockdown in China, people all over the world are filled with uncertainty and millions of questions regarding the variant and how it would affect their lives.

Let’s try to solve any queries in your head about the same.

What is BF.7?

Omicron has BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, and BA.5 lineages. The BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5 (BA.

It is more transmissible than Delta and Beta but is less dangerous as it affects upper respiratory tract unlike Delta and Beta which affect the lower respiratory tract.

BF.7 is more likely to transmit to the unvaccinated population.

Symptoms of BF.7 Variant

Contrary to the rumours, the symptoms of BF.7 infections are not different from those infected with other sub-variants of Omicron.

The symptoms are:

  • Rhinitis (runny nose)
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Body ache
  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea

However, those with severe comorbidities like old age, uncontrolled diabetes, kidney diseases requiring frequent dialysis, etc. are more prone to requiring hospitalisation, ICU and ventilator support. 

precautions of Corona BF 7 Variant

  1. Wear a mask at all times when in public or around others.
  2. Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Avoid large gatherings or crowded spaces.
  5. Stay home if you are feeling sick or have been in close contact with someone who is sick.
  6. Get vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available to you.
  7. Follow the guidelines and recommendations from your local health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Should you be worried about a lockdown situation?

The complete and strict lockdown situation in China made everyone wonder if something similar can happen in India. Most likely the answer is NO.

China has a “Zero COVID Policy” in their country which in the past has definitely controlled the spread of virus but has created a major disadvantage for their population.

As most of the population didn’t contract a variant of the virus, natural immunity is at an all-time low in China which leads to high chances of infection.

On the contrary, due to the strong vaccination campaign in India along with a very high population contracting COVID in the past, India as a whole is in a better position due to natural herd immunity.

Also, compared to China, India currently has a younger population, which also adds to the immunity factor.

As of today (28th December 2022), India has recorded a total of 3421 cases in this wave with minimal cases of deaths.

What should you do to curb the spread?

A few simple steps can save you from even the mildest disease and keep you Covid free.

They are:

  • Wear your masks in public.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Wash your hands before touching your face and mouth.
  • Make sure you are fully vaccinated and have taken your booster dose.
  • Isolate anyone with symptoms and get them tested through an RT-PCR test.

The new variant wave would pass without harming you if you keep these simple tips in mind.

So, don’t panic, stay informed and be healthy.

-Dr. Niharika K Patel (MBBS)
EA Laboratories