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Covid-19 and the new variant on the block

Broken Hills COVID 19 cases have gone against the worldwide trend and decreased again.

On Tuesday, July 26 Broken Hill had 464 people with recorded COVID-19.

Last week the city had seen an increase of 120 cases to 562, this week, it has 100 cases fewer.

However, the city also has fewer people getting tested, with only 749 last week and over 800 last week.

Yet another variant

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Another Omicron variant has been detected; Centaurus is its nickname, BA.2.75 its scientific moniker.

Centaurus appeared to have mutated in a way that could indicate “major immune escape”, said the World Health Organisation’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, adding that it showed a “clear growth advantage” over other variants.

How easily a virus spreads is measured by the Ro scale.

Ro is the average number of people an initial case infects in a population with no previous cases or vaccinations against the virus.

The original Wuhan strain had an R0 of 3.3, Delta had an R0 of 5.1, Omicron BA.1 was 9.5, B.A.2 was 13.3 and B.A.5 had a Ro of 18.6, according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Variants so far have been more contagious but less deadly.

Omicron B.A.2.75 is an unknown factor but has now spread to other countries.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is tracking its spread.

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