The new Omicron BA.3 sub-variant of the coronavirus has been detected for the first time in Belgium, Belga news agency reports.
The sub-strain has been detected in a laboratory at the Jessa Hospital in Hasselt, according to a report in Het Belang van Limburg daily that was confirmed to Belga by the hospital.
Current scientific knowledge about the new sub-strain does not lead to any particular concern over its potential impact, the agency reported.
The Jessa Hospital laboratory detected nine cases of the BA.2 sub-variant and one of the BA.3 sub-variant, the first to have been detected in Belgium. “We do not have much data yet,” Dr. Peter Messiaen, infectious disease specialist and virology professor at the University of Hasselt, said.
In Denmark, the new sub-variant has overtaken BA.1, with a hospitalisation risk that appears to be comparable, according to current data. However, BA.3 is apparently harder to detect using PCR tests.
Thus far, there is not enough data available to predict how the new sub-variant will evolve.