New Previously Unknown COVID Combo Variant Detected in Israel, Media Says
While cases of the new COVID variant were diagnosed in passengers at Ben Gurion Airport, the Israeli Health Ministry director-general reportedly suggested that this variant might have originated in Israel.
Two cases of a new previously unknown COVID variant that combines Omicron’s dominant subvariant BA.1 with subvariant BA.2 has been detected in Israel recently, The Times of Israel reports.
According to the media outlet, Israel’s Health Ministry said that the cases of the new variant were diagnosed via PCR tests taken from arriving Israeli passengers at Ben Gurion Airport.
"This variant is still unknown around the world," the ministry said.
The new variant reportedly causes light symptoms, which include low fever, muscle aches, and headaches. It apparently doesn't require special treatment.
Meanwhile, Israel's Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash has suggested that the variant in question might have originated in Israel.
"It’s likely that they were infected before boarding the flight in Israel. The variant could have emerged here," he said while speaking to local radio. "We don’t know what it means yet."
Earlier this week, Israeli national broadcaster Kan reported that a case of the new COVID variant may have been possibly diagnosed in the country.
9 March, 13:12 GMT
While Kan reported that the variant, a hybrid of Delta and Omicron, was detected in swab samples that were sequenced in laboratories, The Times of Israel points out that said Hebrew-language report hasn’t been confirmed by the Israeli Health Ministry.