What to Know About Omicron Variant BA.2.86, the COVID-19 Variant Spreading in the US

The Omicron variant BA.2.86 which was first detected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August appears to be gaining momentum in the US, the agency announced on Monday.

The latest variant ratio data from the CDC shows that Omicron variant BA.2.86 (known as “Pirola”) accounts for just under 9% of cases in the US. A threefold increase from two weeks ago When the variant became 3%. Cases were made.2 However, these are rough calculations; The CDC estimates that Omicron variant BA.2.86 may currently account for between 5% and 15% of all cases.

Despite the surge of Omicron variant BA.2.86, the CDC said the variant “is not increasing the number of infections or hospitalizations” in the US and that current testing, treatments, and vaccines are expected to be effective against all variants.

In addition to Omicron variant BA.2.86, the CDC noted that another variant is also expected to increase cases, although it still accounts for less than 1% of cases.

All viruses mutate or change to survive, including COVID-19, and viruses with these changes are called “variants.”

The Omicron variant BA.2.86 appears to be a descendant of the BA.2, commonly known as the “Stealth Omicron”, which was the dominant variant in the US in the early to mid 2022s.

Compared to previous variants, Omicron variant BA.2.86 has a larger number of mutations – more than 30 mutations that distinguish it from BA.2, and more than 35 mutations compared to XBB.1.5, another Omicron variant.

These mutations have raised concern among scientists because they could make Omicron variant BA.2.86 better to evade vaccines or previous immunity from prior infection. That’s why the CDC has warned that Omicron variant BA.2.86 may be better at causing serious infections or new cases in people who have already had COVID or been vaccinated.

Updates on SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron variant BA.2.86 are being tracked by the CDC. Despite these mutations, Omicron variant BA.2.86 appears to be identical to existing variants in real-world conditions.

As for the symptoms of Omicron variant BA.2.86, the CDC said it is not possible to know at this time whether this variant causes different symptoms from other variants. However, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar regardless of the type and often include fever or chills, cough, fatigue, muscle or body aches, and headache.


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