How Idaho Health Officials Discovered Another Disturbing Omicron Variant
Two health agencies have announced that a new sub-variant of the Omicron variant has been discovered in Ada County. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Central District Health released the information on Friday. This case is the first known infection of the BA.2 sub-variant of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Ada County. Central District Health and a few other health districts returned to the Idaho Crisis Standards of Care protocol due to the overwhelming cased of the Omicron Variant.
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“The identification of the first infection with this sub-variant of Omicron is a reminder that the virus that causes COVID-19 will continue to mutate as long as it is being transmitted, and is a reminder of the importance of vaccination and other measures to protect yourself from this virus,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, state epidemiologist and the medical director for DHW’s Division of Public Health. “We will continue to monitor this and future variants and are committed to transparency in informing the public what we know when we know it."
The BA.2 sub-variant, like the original Omicron, is very contagious. It has been identified in over forty countries and twenty-two states. Central District and Idaho Health and Welfare warn that vaccines could have less effective against these new variants. They also explain that natural immunity may not be an effective defense against new variants.
There is very little data on the danger of the BA.2 sub-variant. Health organizations are looking to Asia and Europe to see if the new variant is resistant to vaccines. For more information, please go to healthandwelfare.idaho.gov and cdh.idaho.gov. We'll continue to update you as this story develops.
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