CLEVELAND — Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff confirmed on Thursday that the COVID-19 variant BA.2.86 has been detected in one case in Lorain County, the third third human case caused by BA.2.86 to be confirmed in the United States.
Experts say the symptoms of the new COVID-19 variant BA.2.86 are similar to prior ones.
"Could be scratchy throat, runny nose, cough. Some of the more serious ones would be shortness of breath, trouble breathing," said Dr. David Margolius, director of public health for the City of Cleveland.
Numbers from the Ohio Department of Health show COVID's presence in Ohio.
From Aug. 1-Sept. 1
- COVID-19 cases in Ohio: 20,449
- Hospitalizations: 431
- Deaths: 34
- Presumed recovered: 4,114
- Cases: 2,212
- Hospitalizations: 69
- Deaths: 3
- Presumed recovered: 438
Still, the numbers overall in Ohio are significantly better than this time last year. Margolius says Ohioans shouldn't worry about another shutdown.
"Short of like a huge mutation that completely changes the nature of the outside of the virus, it's gonna be just like other respiratory viruses that come and go over time," he said. "The point is that the vaccines that we got and our previous immunity for most of us having already gotten COVID, is protective to the point that we're never gonna go through, you know, what we went through back in 2020."
The updated COVID vaccine booster is expected to be cleared by the FDA some time this month. Dr. Margolius says it will give at least some protection against all variants of COVID-19; however, there isn't enough evidence yet to determine if everyone who has already been vaccinated should get it.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Ohio Department of Health's website by clicking HERE.
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