|A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February, 18, 2020. (Photo: NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS/File Photo)
CDC said it was too soon to know whether this might cause more severe illness compared with previous variants. But due to the high number of mutations detected in this lineage, there were concerns about its impact on immunity from vaccines and previous infections, the agency said.
Scientists are keeping an eye on the BA.2.86 lineage because it has 36 mutations that distinguish it from the currently-dominant XBB.1.5 variant.
CDC said it was too soon to know whether this might cause more severe illness compared with previous variants. CDC, however, said virus samples are not yet broadly available for more reliable laboratory testing of antibodies.
The agency had earlier this month said it was tracking the highly mutated BA.2.86 lineage, which has been detected in the US, Denmark, and Israel.