Israel Confirms 1st Case Of New Covid Variant

By i24
Posted on 08/20/23 | News Source: i24

BA.2.86, nicknamed by scientists on social media as Pirola, is 'closely tracked' by WHO

Israel on Sunday confirmed the first case of a new variant of Covid, BA.2.86, which has been nicknamed by scientists on social media as "Pirola."

The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the new variant as one under monitoring "due to the large number (more than 30) of spike gene mutations it carries," it wrote in a bulletin about the pandemic on Thursday. 

The new variant has 36 mutations from the currently-dominant XBB.1.5 strain.

The Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is the strain targeted by vaccines in upcoming Covid booster shots.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that "as we learn more about BA.2.86, CDC's advice on protecting yourself from COVID-19 remains the same."

More variants of the virus have popped up since the world largely reopened after the pandemic swept across the world in 2020, including the EG.5 variant, nicknamed "Eris."