Why BA.2.86 Covid strain is just another 'scariant': Global studies find variant is LESS contagious...
A new Covid variant that sparked panic may be less infectious and deadly than previously feared.
BA.2.86 or 'Pirola' was feared to have mutated to infect vaccinatedand recently infected people with ease, prompting warnings from US and global health agencies.
Those fears spooked several colleges and businesses into bringing back mask mandates, while health officials in New York encouraged people to don face coverings over Labor Day weekend.
But early results from lab tests carried out in the US, Sweden and China suggest that these warnings may have been overblown and that this variant may actually be 'another scariant' and 'not the second coming of Omicron'.
The tests found that antibodies from vaccinated people and those who had recovered from an infection within the last six months were just as effective against BA.2.86 enabling them to stop infection as they were with other variants.
Chinese researchers also found BA.2.86 was about 60 percent less infectious than XBB.1.15 the variant that was dominant in the US until EG.5, or Eris, emerged which they said may explain why it is only being detected at low levels.