December 1, 2023

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New Unknown COVID-19 variant was found in Israel

New Unknown COVID-19 variant was found in Israel


New Unknown COVID-19 variant was found in Israel, suspected to originate from two variants of Omicron

On March 16, the Israeli Ministry of Health announced that the country had detected two new, previously unknown variants of the new coronavirus.


The diversity of coronavirus in a single host is underestimated


It is reported that the above-mentioned cases are two passengers who returned to Israel by plane and were found in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test they received after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport.

According to the Israeli Shamir Medical Center, which is responsible for implementing the PCR test, according to the test data, the variant is suspected to be derived from the recombination of the BA.1 and BA.2 variants of the Omicron strain, and has the characteristics of the above two variants. 

At present, relevant samples have been transferred to the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Central Virology Laboratory for deep sequencing testing.


People infected with the variant reportedly displayed symptoms such as low-grade fever, muscle pain and headaches, but did not require special treatment.


Nachman Ash, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health, said in an interview with the media that the variant may have originated in Israel, and the above-mentioned cases were likely to have been infected when they left Israel.

Salman Zaka, Israel’s chief official for the COVID-19 pneumonia, said that virus recombination is a common phenomenon.

When human cells are infected with two viruses at the same time, recombination may occur.

When the viruses reproduce, they exchange genetic material to produce a new virus. At this stage, we are not concerned that it will cause a serious situation.


According to a preprint article published on February 22 by the National Serum Institute under the Danish Ministry of Health, it is possible for humans to be reinfected with the BA.2 variant in a short period of time after being infected with the BA.1 variant of the Omicron strain. 

From the emergence of the Omicron strain in late November 2021, to February 2022, a total of about 2 million people in Denmark were infected with the strain, of which 67 people were found to have been infected with the BA.1 variant within 20 to 60 days. and BA.2 variant infection.


Previously, some researchers said on the GitHub open source platform that they found as many as 267 recombinant variants of BA.1 and BA.2 suspected to be Omicron strains in the data from the UK and Ireland in the GISAID international new coronavirus genome database. genome samples, and published data such as variation.

According to a report on the Forbes website, researchers have found recombinant variants of suspected Ormicon strains BA.1 and BA.3 variants in the GISAID international new coronavirus genome database, but the number is very small.

As of March 16, only Four samples were found in South Africa and one in the United States and Puerto Rico.


At this time, it is unclear whether the unknown variant found in Israel is linked to the related variant alleged in GitHub.


(source:internet, reference only)

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