A new COVID variant – labeled as a “variant under investigation” by authorities in the U.K. – has been reported in the U.S.
The variant – BA.2 which has been found in 40 countries so far is linked to more than 8,000 cases worldwide. Not much is known about that variant at this point, including its current level of transmissibility and severity. It’s also yet to be seen exactly how current vaccines are responding to the variant.
BA.2 is believed to be a subvariant of the omicron variant known as BA.1. It has been increasing in countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, where it’s believed to have overtaken the original omicron variant.
Officials in Washington State have now confirmed that two cases of the variant were found earlier this month. It’s believed there are about 100 cases in the U.S.