PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new sub-variant of coronavirus has been discovered in Washington state and health officials are now studying what this means.

The first thing to understand is this isn’t quite a variant of its own. It’s a sub-variant, and doctors say there is no reason to fear it will grip the nation any worse than plain omicron already is.

This harder-to-detect sub-variant is formally known as BA.2, and is now being called “stealth omicron.”

The World Health Organization said that research into this variant should be prioritized independently and in comparison, to BA.1 which is the first omicron.

This comes just one day after WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said global conditions are perfect for new variants to emerge.

The CDC is saying the new variant is low in circulation right now. However, the sub-variant has been found in almost half of the states here in the United States, and so far two cases have been found in Washington state.