The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are tracking a new, highly mutated lineage of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Six cases in four countries have been detected since late July. Scientists are keeping an eye on the new lineage, named BA.2.86, because it has 36 mutations that distinguish it from the currently-dominant XBB.1.5 variant.
So far there is no evidence that BA.2.86 spreads faster or causes more serious illness than previous versions. The CDC said its advice on protecting yourself from COVID-19 remains the same.