New Covid variant in Israel: All you need to know

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The Israeli health ministry has said that they have found two people who were apparently carrying a coronavirus (COVID-19) strain that combined the original Omicron and the so-called “stealth” BA.2 variant.

A report published by The Times Of Israel on Wednesday (March 16) quoted the ministry as saying that “this strain has not yet been seen in the world”.

“This variant is still unknown around the world,” the ministry statement reads.

The ministry further noted that the cases were found “in recent days” while testing international arriving travellers at Ben Gurion Airport. 

The ministry further states that the two cases have not required special medical care as they are suffering mild symptoms.

Early research suggests “stealth omicron,” or the B.A.2 lineage of the omicron variant spreads faster than the original omicron, which itself spread faster than the original virus and other variants.

The companies said in a press statement that their request is based on two Israeli studies that show “an additional mRNA booster increases immunogenicity and lowers rates of confirmed infections and severe illness.”

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