This latest variant of Covid may be the best at evading immunity
A coronavirus mutation that threatens to be more adept at evading immunity is attracting the attention of virologists and health officials.
While only about a dozen cases of the new BA.2.86 variant have been reported worldwide — including three in the United States — experts say this variant requires intensive monitoring and vigilance.
This is because there is even greater potential to escape the antibodies that protect people from the disease, even if you have recently been vaccinated.
The latest variant does not appear to make people sicker than earlier mutations of the virus; Antiviral treatments still need to work against it, and tests need to detect it, according to a risk assessment released Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is too early to know if the updated booster formula expected to be released next month that targets a different subvariant would be effective against this variant.
After a global outbreak of cases in the winter of 2021-2022, the highly contagious omicron variant spawned a host of immune-evading offspring.