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What We Know About the COVID Variant BA.2.86

COVID Variant BA.2.86

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. 

The Scoop on COVID Variant BA.2.86

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.

What We Know So Far

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:

  • It was first detected in late July 2022 in Denmark.
  • It has since been found in other countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • It is thought to be more transmissible than previous Omicron subvariants.
  • It is not yet clear whether it is more severe than previous Omicron subvariants.
  • There is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID variant BA.2.86 is resistant to vaccines.

Stay Prepared This School Year!

With the rise of COVID variant BA.2.86 and flu season approaching, make sure your family remains safe and healthy.

Tips To Stay Safe

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:

  • Make sure you are up to date on vaccinations.
  • If you’re sick, stay home! This is one of the most effective ways to reduce viral spread.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested at your nearest Next Level clinic. 
  • If you test positive, isolate yourself for 5-10 days and until symptoms completely subside.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, and practice good hygiene methods.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or who have been exposed to COVID-19 within 5 days. 
  • Exercise, eat a healthy diet, and stay hydrated.
  • Ventilate your home or workplace.

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