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Mon Sep 18, 2023, 01:42 PM

New COVID variant BA.2.86 spotted in 10 states, though highly mutated strain remains rare

Source: CBS News

September 18, 2023 / 11:43 AM

People across at least 10 states have now been infected by BA.2.86, a highly mutated variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 that authorities have been closely tracking. According to data tallied from the global virus database GISAID, labs have reported finding BA.2.86 in samples from Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Estimates suggest BA.2.86 still remains a small fraction of new COVID-19 cases nationwide. Too few sequences of the virus have been reported to show up on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's biweekly variant estimates, which still show that a long list of closely related XBB variant descendants are driving virtually all infections around the country.

"The diversity is less than what appears. Many of these lineages actually have identical spike sequences. We've observed this before, where we see convergent evolution and viruses evolving to have the same substitutions," said Natalie Thornburg, a laboratory branch chief in the CDC's Coronaviruses and Other Respiratory Viruses Division.

Thornburg, who was speaking at a meeting of the agency's vaccine advisers last week, said it was still too early to know "if BA.2.86 will be of any significant circulation."

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-covid-variant-ba-2-86-more-states/

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Reply New COVID variant BA.2.86 spotted in 10 states, though highly mutated strain remains rare (Original post)
BumRushDaShow Sep 18 OP
cstanleytech Sep 18 #1
BumRushDaShow Sep 18 #2

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Mon Sep 18, 2023, 01:53 PM

1. I'm not going to stress it unless it's a much deadlier variant because its the nature of

viruses to mutate and new variants are to be expected.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 18, 2023, 02:05 PM

2. Yeah I mainly think it is being reported

because they got burnt by not only pooh-poohing Delta, but dismissing Omicron when that variant first hit South Africa, and then started spreading like wildfire. And for the first time during the pandemic, a variant -Omicron- was having a bigger impact on children than previous variants, and it was causing more "break-through" infections, something that many health officials insisted was "improbable", until it was confirmed rather stongly.

This variant is an offshoot from Omicron and based on some of the slides shown during CDC's ACIP approval meeting last week, they looked at the response of the newest vaccines to it and they seemed to work even better on that than the circulating XBB.x series.

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