• BF.7 is one of the Omicron subvariants under monitoring by the Africa CDC and the World Health Organization
• Preliminary reports from China indicate BF.7 has increased transmissibility with a shorter incubation period, and greater capacity to infect people who have had a previous COVID-19 infection, or been vaccinated, or both
• The symptoms of an infection with BF.7 are similar to those associated with other Omicron subvariants. No reports on the severity of disease caused by BF.7 were identified for inclusion in this communique
• AU Member States should continue to enhance COVID-19 genomic surveillance efforts to monitor the presence of variants and the spread and continuous evolution of the virus.
COVID-19 infections in Africa continue to be dominated by the SARS-COV-2 Omicron Variant. Since its emergence, Omicron has rapidly evolved into multiple subvariants. One
subvariant, BF.7 also known as BA.188.8.131.52, has recently been identified as the main variant spreading in Beijing, driving the current surge of COVID-19 infections in China. The variant
is currently being monitored by the health authorities in other regions. BF.7 has been detected in several other countries around the world including India, the U.S., the UK and
several European countries such as Belgium, Germany, France and Denmark. In Africa, the BF.7 variant was detected in 67 samples collected between 03 May – 14 October 2022 from
Algeria, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, The Gambia, Guinea, Mauritius, Morocco, Senegal, and South Africa.
|Communique on the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron BF.7 variants – AR
|Communique on the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron BF.7 variants – EN
|Communique on the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron BF.7 variants – FR
|Communique on the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron BF.7 variants – PT