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Colorado Department of Public Health says new omicron variant detected in Denver metro area

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 10:27:45-05

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says it has detected one case of the new omicron variant known as BA.2.

The case was detected in late December in the Denver metro area using clinical samples that were submitted to the state lab. Find information on COVID-19 cases using the Denver County dashboard.

The department says it actively monitors clinical samples along with wastewater samples for BA.2, but so far has not detected a constellation of mutations consistent with the presence of BA.2 in wastewater.

Data for wastewater can be found online.

It should be noted that BA. 2 is not a new variant, but rather a descendant of omicron. The new version has been detected in India, Denmark, Britain, the United States, and other countries.

It appears to be most widespread in Denmark and has become the dominant form of the virus there.

There are a handful of confirmed cases in the U.S., including in Texas and Washington state. Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas is studying the genetic makeup of virus samples from patients.

Some doctors are dubbing BA. 2 as “stealth omicron” because it is difficult to identify on PCR tests.

The WHO has directed officials to investigate BA. 2’s characteristics and whether it is as contagious as the original variant.

There is no evidence currently that shows that BA. 2 is more contagious or more severe.

British virologist Tom Peacock of the Imperial Department of Infectious Disease tweeted that data suggests current vaccines will be effective against BA. 2.

Learn more about coronavirus in Colorado with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's COVID dashboard. You can also dig deeper into local numbers using El Paso County Health's dashboard and data from Pueblo Health.


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