A new COVID-19 variant — a combination of the omicron variant and the omicron subvariant — may be spreading in countries around the world.

What’s happening: Israel’s Health Ministry said Wednesday that two travelers tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant, which combines the omicron variant and the omicron variant’s subvariant, the BA.2 variant.

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BA.2.2 symptoms: The two COVID-19 patients in Israel had mild COVID-19 symptoms from the variant, including “fever, headaches and muscle aches,” the Health Ministry said.

Omicron variant symptoms: In general, the omicron variant has created a number of COVID-19 symptoms, all of which are different for patients depending on vaccination status and immunity from previous infection.

BA.2 variant symptoms: Spokane Regional Health District Health Officer Francisco Velazquez told KREM 2 News that the BA.2 variant of the omicron variant has some unique symptoms, too.

The bigger picture: Experts are continuing to monitor new COVID-19 variants that emerge, studying each new variant for potential severity and transmissibility.

  • “Variants are coming and omicron was the first one,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the weekend.
  • “So what we are trying to do, and we’re working very diligently right now, it is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year.”