As of 4 September 2023, two cases of BA.2.86 have been identified through PCR testing in Scotland.
Scottish wastewater surveillance data provided to Public Health Scotland (PHS) have also identified the presence of BA.2.86 in a different NHS Health Board.
PHS has assembled a team to monitor the evolving situation and investigate the cases.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science at PHS, said:
“We are continuing to monitor the emergence and prevalence of COVID-19 variants in Scotland through our surveillance programme. The early identification of a second case of BA.2.86 within Scotland is not unexpected and provides the opportunity for an enhanced investigation to increase understanding of the variant’s transmissibility and impact so we can inform any future response to cases.
“Although we are still learning about BA.2.86, we know that getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness and those eligible are encouraged to book or attend their appointment when invited to do so. Coming forward when called will also help to alleviate pressures on local Health Boards who are working to deliver the winter vaccination programme at pace.”
Any additional cases of BA.2.86 in Scotland will be reported on a Thursday moving forward.