Your Local Epidemiologist: A new variant BA.2.86

SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate. This is expected, as this is what viruses do to survive. There was ~20% possibility of another “Omicron-like event” in 2023. Since Omicron arrived on the scene in November 2021, we’ve only seen incremental changes, which have created a ladder-like pattern (see panel A below). This is a good thing—we wanted Omicron to mutate because then we can predict where it’s going (for vaccines and our immunity, for example).