"Stealth omicron" variant BA.2 found in Washington state

Two cases of the new COVID-19 subvariant BA.2 have been found in Washington State.


"It's taking over Omicron in many places," said Dr. Ali Mokdad with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. "People are calling it the 'stealth variant' but I don't believe it's a stealth variant because we are able to detect it and we are able to monitor it."

Experts like Dr. Mokdad and UW Virology's Dr. Pavitra Roychoudhury are already seeing that the subvariant spreads fast—like its predecessor.

"What we know is that this is still an omicron variant," said Dr. Roychoudhury. "We already know that Omicron itself is very transmissible, way more transmissible than the variants that have come before it, so this too we expect to be highly transmissible."

The Washington State Department of Health confirmed 2 cases of BA.2