The United Kingdom Health Security Agency has confirmed the country’s first case of COVID-19 variant BA.2.86.

On Friday, the UKHSA announced this on its website.

According to the report, the case was confirmed in an individual with no recent travel history, implying a degree of community transmission within the UK.

The COVID-19 variant BA.2.86 was categorized as a ‘variant under surveillance’ by the WHO due to the huge number of mutations it carries.

Only a few sequences of the variation have been reported from a few countries thus far.

Israel, Denmark, and the United States of America have all detected the BA.2.86 variation.


The World Health Organization and US health officials said on Thursday that they were closely monitoring a new variation of Covid-19, BA.2.86, whose potential impact is currently unknown.

For UKHSA monitoring, it has been identified as V-23AUG-01.

The newly discovered variant contains a large number of mutations and is genetically distinct from both its likely ancestor, BA.2, and already circulating XBB-derived variants.

There is currently inadequate data to compare the severity or degree of immune escape to other currently circulating variations.

The Deputy Director, UKHSA, Dr. Meera Chand said, “V-23AUG-01 was designated as a variant on the basis of international transmission and significant mutation of the viral genome. This designation allows us to monitor it through our routine surveillance processes.

“We are aware of one confirmed case in the UK. UKHSA is currently undertaking a detailed assessment and will provide further information in due course.”



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