Cases of the new COVID variant BA.2.86 are on the rise. Here’s what we know so far and how you can stay safe and healthy.
A new COVID variant has been identified and is raising awareness among public health experts. COVID variant BA.2.86, commonly referred to as “Pirola”, a subvariant of Omicron, is currently the dominant strain of the virus active today. Research shows that BA.2.86 has more than 30 mutations to its spike protein (which is how the virus enters human cells) compared to XBB.1.5, a variant of Omicron that was previously the dominant strain in the United States.
Experts are concerned that the mutations in BA.2.86 could make it more transmissible or resistant to vaccines. However, more research is needed to understand the full implications of this variant. Here’s what we know so far:
Public health officials are monitoring BA.2.86 closely and will provide updates as more information becomes available. Here are some practical tips to keep COVID and other viruses at bay this season:
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