By Leo Herold Laluna

PHOTO: Sharp Health

Oftentimes, stealthy people make use of their agile and secretive methods in the art of crime and theft. Putting stolen goods aside, the unthinkable may happen once a virus manages to be as elusive as a thief in the night. Thoughts like that are closely coming to reality as researchers have reported a new omicron variant that can skillfully avoid detection from COVID-19 tests.

Appropriately called the “stealth omicron” variant or BA.2, the newest addition to the COVID-19 family is certainly not joking around. First found in the Philippines in November 2021, the variant has already been reported in 40 different countries.

Scientists are still left in the dark when it comes to the details of the new variant. However, initial observations seem to conclude that it shares the original omicron variant’s trait of being able to bypass immunity induced by vaccinations.

Moreover, there is no conclusive evidence noting if the “stealth omicron” variant is any more severe than the original one.

Though it may not be considered a variant of interest by the medical community, the variant has still managed to take a country like Denmark by storm, overtaking the original omicron variant in cases. Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut (SSI)’s technical director Tyra Kause says, “There is some indication that it is more contagious, especially for the unvaccinated, but that it can also infect people who have been vaccinated to a greater extent…”

Despite that fact, nothing is set in stone as more tests are needed for a solid conclusion when it comes to the new variant.

Much like how a rising number of crimes is met with appropriate police response, the rising number of cases caused by a new variant must be treated with the same principle. As the “stealth omicron” variant infiltrates the homes of many like a thief, it has become more essential than ever to practice caution in these dire times.

Edited by Audrei Mendador