Russian health ministry’s chief infectionist sees possibility of new COVID-19 wave involving BQ.1.1 Cerberus sub-variant

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Russian Health Ministry, Vladimir Chulanov

TASS

25th November 2022 – (Moscow) The BQ.1.1 Cerberus sub-variant of the omicron strain is more contagious than its predecessors, so a new wave of novel coronavirus infections in Russia is possible, the lead infectious diseases specialist of the Russian Health Ministry, Vladimir Chulanov, has said.

“The new Cerberus subvariant is a version of the omicron strain. Although there is no information indicating that it is more pathogenic (i.e. causes more severe symptoms), it can nevertheless spread rapidly. That is why a surge in [coronavirus] cases cannot be ruled out,” the expert was quoted as saying on the Russian health ministry’s official Telegram channel.

The expert reiterated that the elderly and patients with chronic conditions should exercise particular caution during the fall and winter seasons, because “they make up the bulk of those who are hospitalized.”

Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing reported on Tuesday that over the past week, Russia had not registered any new infections with coronavirus BQ.1 Omicron and BQ.1.1 Cerberus subvariants, with BA.4 and BA.5 lines making up about 97% of all cases.

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