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Omicron Subvariant Found In Ohio, Berkeley Counties

State officials announced Friday that a subvariant of the COVID-19 virus’ omicron variant has been found in West Virginia, specifically in Ohio and Berkeley counties.

West Virginia’s coronavirus “czar” Dr. Clay Marsh, said the Mountain State joins about half the states in the country in finding cases of the new subvariant, omicron BA.2

It has been nicknamed a “stealth” variant, Marsh said.

“It’s not because it’s any worse than the original omicron, but because it has different properties when you use genetic tests to identify it,” he said. “But what is clear, in some countries, this variant has become the dominant variant and has out-competed the first variant, BA.1.”

Marsh said state officials will continue to watch the BA.2 subvariant carefully, saying it doesn’t seem any more severe than the original variant.

“(T)he immunity that we’ve gained in West Virginia from vaccines, and, we hope, more boosters, along with people that have been infected and recovered from omicron recently, should provide us the necessary immune protection so that BA.2 does not spread widely,” he said.


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