If you type in a lineage, for example BA.5, you get back a list of BA.5 aliases.
This is not a list of all sublineages. Just the aliases.
For example, if you put in BA.5, you will not get BA.5.3.
But you will get BA.5.3.1, which is aliased to BE.
We also don't validate if the lineage you enter is valid. We just trust that you know what you are doing.
Finally, this is not automatically updated. If you depend on having the very latest data, grab it from the pango-designation GitHub repo instead.
Let's say you're trying to filter a list of PANGO lineages to just BA.5. Easy enough right?
We just pick everything that starts with "BA.5"
But this would miss out, say BE, BF and BQ - which are also BA.5 sublineages. In fact there are many others we'd be missing out.
So what we do here is type in BA.5, and now we know all the stuff we have to include in out "starts with" filter.
Alternatively, you could dealias everything and filter to stuff that starts with B.1.1.529.5, but who has time for that?
These are to assist my most common use cases for a list of aliases:
I'm pretending they don't exist
Oh. You might want to check out https://www.pango.network/ for an explanation of the PANGO naming scheme for SARS-CoV-2 lineages.