ODH director confirms COVID-19 variant BA.2.86 case in Ohio in weekly case update


COLUMBUS – Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., MBA, confirms the COVID-19 variant BA.2.86 has been detected in one case in Lorain County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers BA.2.86 a notable variant because it contains a number of mutations that make it distinct from other currently circulating lineages.

There have been at least 23 other human cases caused by BA.2.86, including two in the United States, in Michigan and Virginia. It also has been confirmed in Canada (one case), Denmark (10), Israel (one), Portugal (two), the United Kingdom (one), Sweden (four), and South Africa (two).

“At this point, there is no evidence that this variant is causing any more severe illness, hospitalizations or deaths,” Vanderhoff said in a press release. “As always, ODH encourages Ohioans to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations as the best way to prevent serious illness, and to stay home if they are sick.”

About the Ohio Department of Health:

The Ohio Department of Health’s mission is advancing the health and well-being of all Ohioans by transforming the state’s public health system through unique partnerships and funding streams; addressing the community conditions and inequities that lead to disparities in health outcomes; and implementing data-driven, evidence-based solutions.

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