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First case of new COVID variant detected in BC

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Health officials in British Columbia say they have detected the first known Canadian case of the BA.2.86 COVID-19 virus variant.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed it was found in a person in the Fraser Health region, east of Vancouver, who has not travelled outside of the province.

In a joint statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said they are monitoring the variant but added it “was not unexpected” for it to show up in B.C. or in Canada.

“So far, there does not seem to be increased severity with this strain of COVID and the individual is not hospitalized,” the statement reads.

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