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Though COVID-19 case numbers are slowly coming down in some regions of the United States, the Omicron variant still driving hospitalization rates higher from coast to coast. So, it’s a bit daunting to learn that a “new” subvariant of Omicron, dubbed BA.2, has been reported in 40 countries—including the U.S.—as of January 24. According to the World Health Organization, BA.2 comprises four lineages: B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3. While mainstream media outlets have quoted various scientists as referring to BA.2 as “stealth Omicron” and “son of Omicron,” this new discovery is no joke as it’s a reminder of the veracity of the WHO’s continuous warnings about possible variants coming to light. So far three cases of Omicron BA.2 COVID have been confirmed in Texas, with two more in Washington State.

Already Problematic, There’s More to Omicron Than We Understood