HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new strain of the omicron variant was detected in Hawaii.

In the most recent COVID variant report from the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), eight cases of BA.2 — also known as the stealth omicron variant — were recently detected.

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Additionally, eight more suspected cases of this new strain are currently being studied.

Officials said certain traits for BA.2 may make it harder to detect, and scientists are worried it could be more contagious than the omicron variant.

The omicron variant accounts for about 99% of all COVID-19 cases across the islands.

“There seems to be no indication in Denmark that it causes more serious disease. In Denmark, as BA.2 took over there has not been an increase in hospitalization. So that’s somewhat of a relief. There has been a modest surge in cases in Denmark. So, that could be a matter of concern,” explained Dr. Edward Desmond, the administrator for the State Laboratories Division.

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A better understanding of the transmissibility of BA.2 will be available in the DOH’s next coronavirus variant report.