WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The subvariant of omicron, BA.2, has been found in 55 countries, including the U.S. and right here in the Bay Area.
How concerned should you be if you're vaccinated or boosted?
Scientists and doctors are on the hunt for the BA. 2 - or stealth variant- trying to learn all they can about it. But at this point they are saying if you are vaccinate, you should not be worried.
They call it the stealth variant because it can be tricky for scientists to pinpoint its exact version.
They still don't know how contagious it is or if it will change the severity of the disease.
People who do catch the new subvariant will know they are COVID positive. Scientists say those PCR and rapid tests will still work at detecting infection.
"You can still detect the BA.2 omicron variant with a regular test, but when you try to get the genetic sequence you have to use additional sets of testing to identify it," said Stanford Professor Yvonne Maldonado.
"So it's possible that some of the omicron variants we are seeing could contain more of the B2 lineage. We will just have to follow that as time goes and it may likely emerge as another subvariant of omicron."
An epidemiologist at UCSF says this is to be expected- that viruses mutate- and we will be dealing with variants all the time- but he thinks we are in good shape.
Two cases of the new variant have been detected in Santa Clara county this week.
Doctors are hoping to learn more about it in the next few days.