A first case of subvariant BA.4 or BA.5 in Polynesia

Tahiti, June 22, 2022 – The country’s Covid-19 platform warns of the beginning of a rebound in the local circulation of the Omicron variant among residents of French Polynesia, announcing in particular the discovery of a first case of the subvariant BA.4 or BA.5 in fenua for a Polynesian returning from the United States.

The last weekly epidemiological bulletin of the Country’s Covid-19 platform for the week of June 13 to 19 announces a “increase in the number of new cases among residents”and a “First case of Omicron subvariant (BA.4 or BA.5) identified in a traveler returning from the United States.” Last week, 61 new cases were detected, including 45 among residents. Cases reported mainly from the Windward Islands (58, including 42 residents), but also from Rangiroa (2 residents) and Tubuai (1 resident). In addition, two travelers tested positive during a cruise in Polynesia and were isolated on board. In the profile of patients infected by the virus, there is a predominance of cases among those over 60 years of age, but this is explained “partly due to the recent diagnosis of several cases in older people on cruise ships”.

On the Covid platform side, we explain to you that it is a “start of rebound in local traffic”certainly not serious, but to see “when you see what is happening in other parts of the world”. being objective “to anticipate” a future increase in the number of cases, the severity of which should, if anything, be less than in the past, and encourage vulnerable people, as far as possible, to protect themselves by vaccination.

The “L452R” was “riddled”

Therefore, the incidence rate is globally stable (22/100,000 inhabitants), but increases among residents (16/100,000 inhabitants). In case of symptoms, the Covid platform indicates that it is “It is necessary to carry out a screening test and respect hygiene measures: use of a mask and hand washing”. Regarding the first appearance of a BA.4 or BA.5 strain, the bulletin explains that the Louis Malardé Institute managed to screen six strains, all of the Omicron type. Five are from the BA.2 sublines that have already circulated actively in Polynesia, but one strain has the so-called “L452R” mutation, which is found in the BA.4 and BA.5 sublines, in a Polynesian resident patient. returning from a trip to the United States. Still, no patient has been hospitalized for Covid for two weeks. Only seven patients are currently treated for the aftermath of a long Covid in the Ora-Ora center.

The bulletin also indicates that the use of booster doses is increasing with fenoa. Remember that an anti-Covid vaccine booster is recommended for people who received their last dose more than six months ago, especially for the most fragile (over 60 years of age and immunocompromised, as well as over 80). At the moment, 81.4% of the population aged 12 and over have received a full vaccination schedule and 48.1% a booster dose.

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