MIAMI (CBSMiami) — International health officials are now monitoring a new subvariant of Omicron.
The UK Health Security Agency has declared BA.2 a “variant under investigation.”READ MORE: South Florida family knows firsthand effects of nationwide baby formula shortage
The World Health Organization has reported cases of BA.2 in at least 40 countries, including the United States.
The subvariant, which has been dubbed “stealth Omicron,” was reportedly first identified in India and South Africa in late December 2021.READ MORE: South Florida woman's bout with COVID included hair loss: 'This isn’t normal shedding'
Dr. Vipin M. Vashishtha reports BA.2 “has 28 unique mutations.”
What do we know about BA.2-sub-lineage of Omicron? Is BA.2 different?
BA.2 shares 32 mutations w/ BA.1, but it also has 28 unique mutations. Some diff in S1. E is the same, N & M are diff in 1 mutation between the two variants.
And…quite a difference when we go to ORF1ab. 1/ https://t.co/qMjHUsV4J4 pic.twitter.com/sn0TB8avx3
— Vipin M. Vashishtha (@vipintukur) January 19, 2022
Because of the constituent growth across multiple countries, Vashishtha believes “BA.2 may be some degree more transmissible than BA.1.”
While Vashishtha said this subvariant may replace BA.1, he believes it’s unlikely to cause a second wave of Omicron.MORE NEWS: Psychologist shares how to talk to your child about Texas school shooting
Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut noted that “initial analysis shows no differences in hospitalizations for BA.2 compared to BA.1.”