Since it initially appeared in the latter half of the year 2021, the COVID subvariant omicron has rapidly evolved into numerous sub-variants. A specific new variant, BF.7, has recently been identified as the primary variant circulating in Beijing and significantly increasing COVID infections across China.
In India as well, this brand-new and highly infectious Covid-19 strain Omicron BF.7 has established itself. There are 10 different versions of Covid-19 available until the year 2022, such as Alpha, Epsilon, Delta Omicron, etc with Omicron BF.7 being the most recent. It is the latest mutant of coronavirus with a fast rate of transmission and a brief incubation period.
If you’re pregnant, it’s important to know how this new COVID-19 variant omicron BF.7 strain can impact you, and your unborn baby, and how to protect yourself against it.
Continue reading as this post brings you all the information you need on the covid variant omicron BF.7 and its effect on pregnancy. We also discuss the pregnancy symptoms of the Omicron subvariant, BF.7 in pregnant women and how pregnant women can protect themselves from this new variant.
In this Article
- 1 What Do Pregnant Women Need To Know About The New Covid Variant Omicron Bf.7?
- 2 What are the Causes of the Accelerated Spread of COVID Variant Omicron BF.7
- 3 What are the symptoms of the COVID Variant Omicron BF.7 in pregnant women?
- 4 COVID Variant Omicron BF.7 and Its Effect on Pregnancy
- 5 How Can Pregnant Women Protect Themselves From COVID Variant Omicron BF.7?
- 6 Significance of Vaccination against Covid Variant Omicron BF.7 and Pregnancy
- 7 Pregnancy and Exposure to Covid-19 Variant BF.7
- 8 Prenatal And Postpartum Care With Covid-19 Variant BF.7
What Do Pregnant Women Need To Know About The New Covid Variant Omicron Bf.7?
Before it spread quickly worldwide, the omicron variant was regarded as milder than the delta omicron variant. The World Health Organization (WHO) initially recognized Omicron as a variation of concern in late November 2021. Since then, a number of Omicron family sub variants have been monitored by health organizations.
Among all Covid variants, this variant, an Omicron mutant, has one of the highest transmission rates. This mutant is known to have an R0 value of 10-18.6 approx, which means that the disease can spread to 10-18.6 others nearby through each infected individual. The Omicron BF.7 strain has been identified in numerous nations since its discovery, including China, the US, the UK, Belgium, Germany, France, and Denmark.
The risk of catching this virus is increased in people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, such as the elderly, pregnant or new moms, small children, and those who have compromised immune systems.
What are the Causes of the Accelerated Spread of COVID Variant Omicron BF.7
The COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus underwent mutational evolution to become more immunologically evasive, which resulted in the BF.7 subvariant.
The “parent” version, BA.5, and its new variant BF.7 have the same mutation (R346T) in the spike protein, which the coronavirus uses to adhere to and infect cells. This mutation has been linked to the virus’s capacity to avoid neutralizing antibodies created by immunizations or earlier infections.
According to specialists, the subvariant does have a higher risk of reinfection or of infecting persons who have already had a vaccination. A recent study also found that people who had already gotten three vaccinations could still be vulnerable to BF.7, despite being protected.
However, the extra Covid-19 booster dose will help in limiting the illness. The fact that cases have also been reported in persons who have had the immunization but have skipped their Covid-19 booster doses, however, is what should worry us the most. People with inadequate immunity such as breastfeeding new mom, currently pregnant women, children, and the elderly are increasingly becoming carriers of the BF.7 Omicron variety of Covid-19, hence the government authorities are urging and advising its citizens to obtain the booster shot as soon as feasible.
What are the symptoms of the COVID Variant Omicron BF.7 in pregnant women?
Irrespective of the type of strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are COVID-19’s primary symptoms:
- Cold or fever
- Respiratory issues or shortness of breath
- Body or muscle aches
- New changes in flavor or odour
- Sore throat
- Runny or congested nose
- Nausea or vomiting
A Pregnant woman and a breastfeeding new mom can also experience this group of symptoms. There is currently no evidence to show that pregnancy symptoms during Omicron subvariant, BF.7, differ from those of non-pregnant adults. The signs and symptoms of Omicron subvariant, BF.7, are essentially the same as those of other groups: cough, congestion, sore throat, headache, and muscle problems.
COVID Variant Omicron BF.7 and Its Effect on Pregnancy
If you are a new mom or an expecting one, you must be wondering if the omicron variety can affect pregnant women more severely.
It can, and according to doctors, there are a few causes for this. Any illness has a possibly more hazardous impact on the pregnant women since they have a form of immunosuppression that permits them to carry what amounts to a baby that is half genetically different from themselves. Regardless of the variant, pregnant people are more likely than non-pregnant people to be admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms and need to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Pregnancy also increases the risk of preterm birth, and doctors are seeing exceptionally high rates of COVID in general.
According to experts, vaccination status affects the severity of the illness as well. According to a Scottish study published in Nature Medicine, 98 percent of pregnant women treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) for COVID-19-related critical care were unvaccinated.
Most persons who receive vaccinations and boosters seldom contract COVID. They also have a very low likelihood of being hospitalized, an even lower chance of needing intubation, and an almost nil chance of dying if they do contract an infection, regardless of the variation.
The COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the risks of serious illness and hospitalization regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not, despite the fact that pregnant women are almost twice as likely to develop a breakthrough COVID-19 infection (defined as a case contracted in a person who had received the vaccine) than those who aren’t pregnant.
Additionally, studies have demonstrated that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe to use during pregnancy and is not associated with premature deliveries or lower birth weight for kids. For that very reason, it is exceedingly alarming that so many pregnant women still have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID is a disease that can be prevented because we have a vaccination that is thought to be quite safe during pregnancy. If they are qualified, everyone who is pregnant should have a shot or booster.
How Can Pregnant Women Protect Themselves From COVID Variant Omicron BF.7?
Covid-19 Variant Omicron BF.7 Precautions include
- Wearing masks in congested settings and public places indoors is the first and most important safeguard. Whether or not you have received a vaccination, The CDC advises using the most protective mask you can find that fits well and is comfortable for daily use.
- Make sure you have had all necessary vaccinations, including boosters.
- Keep your distance from somebody who has apparent symptoms or appears ill.
- If you aren’t fully immunized, keep your distance from other people when you are in indoor public settings. This is crucial if you are more susceptible to serious illnesses or pregnancy-related diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. You should exercise caution by adhering to the safety procedures.
- Behave properly and pay attention to any symptoms of seasonal illnesses that are common in India during these months, such as fever, coughing, and colds.
- If you come into close touch with an infected individual, get a Covid-19 test done right away, and learn how to isolate yourself. Most people have received the recommended dose of the vaccine. The BF.7 Covid variant has been found in people who have gotten the vaccination, so we should still proceed with caution.
- Maintain hygiene. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or often wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid crowded areas and stuffy interior locations.
- If you’re unwell, stay at home in isolation and avoid going to work, school, and public places unless you’re going to obtain medical attention. If you’re sick, stay away from taxis, ride-hailing services, and public transit.
Above all, Prioritize looking for yourself and your baby. To talk about any worries, get in touch with your doctor if you have queries related to the BF.7.
Significance of Vaccination against Covid Variant Omicron BF.7 and Pregnancy
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and receiving your booster dose when you’re eligible, according to specialists, is one of the most important things. Women who are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing should have the COVID vaccine, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the CDC, and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
It is the best tool for preventing the severe consequences of the disease and has a proven safety profile across the entire reproductive life cycle. Additionally, the booster itself provides Mom, Baby, and Family with the best defense against the Omicron variety.
To protect you and your unborn child, it is equally crucial that other eligible family members, such as your partner (if you have one) and other children living in the home, receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Keeping up with frequent hand washing and avoiding social situations are other measures to stop the spread of the variant.
It is imperative that you heed the CDC’s advice and wear a suitable, fitted mask whenever you are out in public, especially in crowded areas and indoor settings. Keep your guard up. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate is the most effective strategy to lessen the threat posed by the Omicron BF.7 strain. For Covid 19 Variant BF.7 testing, you can visit your nearest pathology lab or book a test at home.
Pregnancy and Exposure to Covid-19 Variant BF.7
You should have a COVID-19 test if you believe you may have been exposed to the Covid-19 Variant Omicron BF.7 or if you are experiencing symptoms. For advice, or if you experience any other symptoms that are concerning, you can also give your ob-gyn a call.
If you notice any emergency warning signs, contact emergency services or head straight to the hospital. Among the emergency warning indicators are the following:
- Breathing difficulties or lack of breath (more than what has been normal for you during pregnancy)
- Persistent chest discomfort or pressure
- Unexpected confusion
- Not being able to respond to other people
- Bluish lips or face
Try to phone the hospital ahead of time to let them know you’re going there so they can get ready.
Prenatal And Postpartum Care With Covid-19 Variant BF.7
It’s crucial to continue with your prenatal and postpartum care appointments. Ask your ob-gyn how your visits might change if the new variant cases grow or spread quickly in your region. You can also have a more in-depth conversation with your medical team by phone or online video call. This is referred to as telehealth or telemedicine. It’s a great approach for you to receive the care you require and stop the spread of illness.
You may phone your doctor in advance of a visit if one is planned. If you visit your doctor, they might talk to you about telehealth or check to see if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
The BF.7 Covid variation features a quick transmission rate, just like other Omicron variants. Even if they are asymptomatic, a person who possesses this virus can pass it on to an additional 10 to 18 others. The statistics show that there aren’t many hospitalizations and fatalities for this variation in India, but it will be some time before we know how things will turn out in the next few days, weeks, or months. However, we must exercise more prudence and stick to COVID-acceptable conduct (wearing masks, social distancing, and hand sanitization).
Contrary to those who do not have COVID-19 during pregnancy, those with COVID-19 are more prone to have difficulties that could harm both the developing fetus and the mother.
For instance, using COVID-19 while pregnant raises the possibility of having a baby that is born prematurely (before 37 weeks) or stillborn. Other pregnancy issues may also be more common in people who have COVID-19 when pregnant.
Everyone aged 6 months and older, including those who are pregnant, a new mom, attempting to get pregnant right now, or who may become pregnant in the future, should receive the COVID-19 immunization. This advice includes getting boosters when the time comes.