While “Eris” EG.5 is still the dominant variant in the United States, scientists are weighing in on a new strain of the COVID-19 virus, BA.2.86.

Unofficially dubbed “Pirola,” a blend of the Greek letters Pi and Rho, this BA.2.86 variant of omicron was initially detected in Denmark in July and surfaced in the United States in August.

International health officials have not yet classified Pirola as a variant of concern but have been closely monitoring it since Aug. 17. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently tracking three variants of interest and seven variants under monitoring while continuing to call for better surveillance, sequencing, and reporting of COVID-19 as this virus continues to circulate and evolve.

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