search

Israel says found 1st confirmed cases in world of combined Omicron, BA.2 strain in airport testing

Travelers wearing protective face masks arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Nov. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Travelers wearing protective face masks arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Nov. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Two people have been found to be carrying a coronavirus strain that combined the original Omicron and the so-called “stealth” BA.2 variant, the Health Ministry says.

“This strain has not yet been seen in the world,” the ministry says, noting that the cases were found “in recent days” in testing of international arriving travelers at Ben Gurion Airport.

The ministry says the two cases are suffering mild symptoms and have not required special medical care.

BA.2 has been documented to have re-infected some people after an initial case of Omicron. There’s mixed research on whether it causes more severe disease, but vaccines appear just as effective against it.

While the number of people getting tested in Israel has fallen, all international arrivals at the airport are checked upon landing.

comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed