‘Centaurus’: WHO is tracking new COVID-19 sublineage

A new sublineage of the omicron version of COVID-19 is being monitored by the World Health Organization and has been identified in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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A spokesperson for the CDC told Fortune.com on Thursday that the subvariant that some are calling “centaurus,” had been seen in two cases in the United States, and was first identified on June 14.

The CDC does not publicly report on variants until enough cases are reported to represent 1% of all cases in the country.

The subvariant, a sublineage of BA.2 that scientists call BA.2.75, has been reported in eight countries, WebMD reported.

The centaurus cases were reported by the CDC as BA.2.75 under the BA.2 cases.

WHO officials said Wednesday at a press conference that the centaurus sublineage was being tracked by the organization.

BA.2.75 has been reported in “about 10 other countries” but has not yet been declared a variant of concern, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, said Tuesday.

BA.2.75 was first detected in India in early June. Along with the usual omicron mutations, it has as many as nine additional mutations, researchers said.