Pakistan reports first ‘confirmed’ case of BF.7 variant of COVID-19

January 31, 2023

Virus-infected person showed symptoms after another person met him at his office in Karachi, say sources

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This undated transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient in US. — Reuters/File

Pakistan on Tuesday reported its first “confirmed” case of a new BF.7 Omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to sources in the health department.

The first case of thehighly infectious strain of COVID-19, which has played havoc in China, was detected in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi, said the well-placed sources.

The new coronavirus variant has been detected in a patient through gene-sequencing. The patient has no travel history to China. The virus-infected person showed symptoms after another person met him at his office, the sources added.


The symptoms of the new variant of the COVID -19 include fever, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Despite BF.7's immune-evasive characteristics and the worrying signs about its growth in China, the variant seems to remain fairly steady elsewhere.

In the US, it was estimated to account for 5.7% of infections up to 10 December 2022, down from 6.6% the week prior. The Chinese situation and BF.7’s high reproduction rate might be partly due to a low level of immunity in China from the previous infection and possibly vaccination.

As per the latest data, BF.7 is quicker to transmit than other variants. It has a shorter incubation period with a greater capacity to infect people who have previously been infected with COVID-19 or even vaccinated.

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