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WHO Reports Rise Of Omicron 'Stealth Variant'

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - As the pandemic drags on, a new sub-variant of Omicron is starting to show up. The World Health Organization reports it's on the rise in dozens of countries.

Health experts said this sub-variant, given the nickname "stealth variant," may be more contagious than Omicron.

"But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to make a big impact across the globe yet. We just don't know," Dr. Natalie Gentile of the Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh said.

Dr. Gentile said scientists are still learning about this. It can be a challenge to know what exactly this sub-variant means for everyone.

"It seems we don't want to get too alarmed right away. We don't want to panic. We want to stick to the things that we know are helpful," Dr. Gentile said.

Her advice at this point is to continue practicing safety measures. Make sure you wear a well-fitted mask, get the vaccine and take tests in a timely manner if you feel symptoms. Health experts will continue to learn more as more data is available.

"It's potential that as these variants come across, they'll have milder and milder symptoms and disease courses. Time will tell," Dr. Gentile said over Zoom.

She said scientists have learned a lot during the pandemic. As they learn more, that's how they find new variants or sub-variants.

"I think what we're going to learn over time is which ones are going to be of more concern than others," Dr. Gentile said.

It may get to a point where we do learn to live with it like other viruses, but we're not there yet. To this point, only a few dozen cases of the sub-variant have been reported in the United States.

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