The “stealth” version of omicron has genetic traits that make it trickier to detect – though much remains unknown and it is not yet a variant of concern.
The station said BA.2 was detected in a sample genetically sequenced by the Yale School of Medicine on Jan. 8.
“What we are going to be monitoring very closely is do we see any uptick in wastewater surveillance of the virus. Do we see any other uptick in cases overall?” Connecticut Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani told the outlet.
Earlier this week, the California Department of Health confirmed a total of 14 cases of BA.2.
Fox 11 reported Wednesday that the cases were found in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, Orange and Tulare counties.
As of Tuesday morning, 96 sequenced cases came from the U.S.
“As of 24.01.2022, the BA.2 descendent lineage, which differs from BA.1 in some of the mutations, including in the spike protein, is increasing in many countries. Investigations into the characteristics of BA.2, including immune escape properties and virulence, should be prioritized independently (and comparatively) to BA.1,” the agency said on its website.
Since November, more than three dozen countries have uploaded nearly 15,000 genetic sequences of BA.2 to GISAID, a global platform for sharing coronavirus data.
With BA.2, medical professionals advise taking the same precautions as with omicron: getting vaccinated and boosted, social distancing and staying home when sick and following public health guidance regarding wearing masks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.