Omicron, the second identified sub-variant of BA.2, which is currently said to be wreaking havoc in many countries, is said to be a stealth variant. As the name implies, it is stealth because although it has many common mutations with its ancestor BA.1 Omicron variant, it does not have the genetic deletion of the spike protein which makes it difficult to detect by RT PCR method. This variant tracking is more time consuming, hence the name “Styleth”.
On February 22, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an official statement about this variant for the first time. The WHO said that based on the available data on infections, the severity, recurrence, diagnostics, therapeutics and effects of vaccines would be considered a form of BA.2 concern.
Read: A combination of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, found in Israel