The Ministry of Health of Israel announced on Wednesday that it has found a new Covid-19 variant on two travelers arriving at Israel’s airport, amid an increase in Covid-19 cases throughout the world. “The two cases of the combination strain that have been detected so far had moderate symptoms of fever, headaches, and muscular dystrophy and did not require a specific medical reaction,” the ministry said in a statement.
PCR testing on two individuals arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport revealed the novel variety, which is a mix of two subvariants of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 virus – BA.1 and BA.2.
According to Israel’s national broadcaster Kan, a small number of instances of this variation have been discovered among Israelis returning from Europe, and there has been no community spread thus far, as reported by News18.
Salman Zarka, Israel’s pandemic response leader, said about the fear caused by the appearance of the new variant that the phenomena of two variants combining is well-known and that they are not concerned about this taking a severe turn at the moment.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist, had previously commented about the variant recognising a stain that mixes Delta and Omicron. She stated that it has been identified at low levels in a few nations, including France and the Netherlands. She went on to say that the version has been in circulation in Europe for approximately two months and hasn’t showed any symptoms of spreading quicker, but it’s still being investigated.
Immunologist Prof. Cyrille Cohen, of Bar Ilan University, told The Times Of Israel that the emergence of the variant isn’t surprising and neither is the fact that it would reach Israel from Europe, given the passenger volume between the two destinations.