Medical

Spawn of omicron detected in the United States; has 60% more mutations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Another COVID-19 mutation has been identified in 26 states across the United States.

Scientists call it the BA.2 variant also known as the “stealth omicron” because it is difficult to detect with the nation’s current testing capacity.

Researchers have likened it to the fraternal twin of omicron, but with one significant difference. BA.2 has 60% more mutations than omicron, which had until now the highest number of mutations to date since the pandemic began. Omicron has over 50. BA.2 has 80 and counting. News 8 spoke with Dr. Brian Dixon at the Regenstrief Institute about the possible threat BA.2 poses to the nation.

“There is some speculation that the composition of the subvariant makes it more transmissible and I think that’s what people are concerned about,” Dixon said. “Because obviously if it’s more contagious, then it’s going to spread like wildfire even more so than omicron.”

However, since omicron has been sweeping the globe so rapidly, he says, it’s unlikely BA.2 would be more deadly or cause severe disease. Scientists are will waiting on data.