NY Confirms 4 Cases of ‘Stealth' Omicron Variant BA.2

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The New York State Health Department confirmed the first cases of the so-called "stealth" omicron variant on Thursday.

The department said it was aware of four cases of the BA.2 variant, which scientists say is somewhat harder to detect than the original version of omicron, between Jan. 7 and Jan. 12.

Currently, the World Health Organization isn't considering the variant one "of concern" but it is being increasingly detected in many countries, which raises questions whether BA.2 could be even more transmissible, or have higher immune escape potential compared to omicron.

So far, BA.2 has been detected in at least 49 countries, according to It has been sequenced in at least 20 states, including New Jersey and Connecticut.

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