"Cerberus" comes: infectious disease specialists told what to expect from a new strain of coronavirus

The new “Cerberus”, aka B.Q1.1, is an offshoot of BA.5, one of the subspecies of the “omicron”. The strain was awarded such a nickname for a reason – it is super-contagious.

The difference between “Cerberus” and the initial strain “omicron” is that the former bypasses the protection of antibodies much more easily. Accordingly, it will also affect the immunized, that is, those already vaccinated and those who have been ill. A sick person can give Omicron to about 14-15 healthy people.

The spread rate of the Cerberus strain is quite high. US health regulators have calculated that, as of October 21, among all patients infected with coronavirus, the proportion of those infected with Cerberus was 16.6%. In Europe, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are expected to become the predominant coronavirus variants by the end of autumn.

Cerberus coronavirus strain BQ.1 discovered in July 2022. According to doctors, the danger of “Cerberus” lies in the speed of its spread.

“In Europe, the situation is very similar to what we see in the US. There is an increase in the incidence. A few days ago, in some countries, the share of Cerberus already reached 20% of all cases of COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to the specialist, in European countries there is an outbreak of outpatient cases. At the same time, intensive care units are not full, there is no large-scale surge in complications. The disease is easily tolerated, the main thing is that “Cerberus” does not descend into the lungs. Pneumonia from it is practically not observed. However, the post-covid syndrome after the illness lasts for three weeks.

The symptoms of Cerberus are like those of a common cold. “These are fatigue, cough, digestive disturbances. Hair loss is possible,” the doctors state. “The new strain is dangerous for patients with chronic diseases – cardiovascular, autoimmune, which are exacerbated.” Experts believe that it will quickly crowd out other subspecies of the coronavirus. By the end of November, Cerberus will be detected in 70% of cases of COVID-19.

At the moment, the authorities are not going to introduce new restrictions because of Cerberus. Perhaps this decision will be made later, but so far the epidemiological situation does not require tougher measures.

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