COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — A new and highly mutated coronavirus variant being watched by health officials has been confirmed in one case in Lorain County, the Ohio Department of Health announced on Thursday.

There have been 23 other COVID-19 cases caused by the BA.2.86 variant worldwide, including one case in Michigan and another in Virginia, according to a Thursday news release.

The new variant was first detected earlier this month in samples from Denmark and Israel, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It contains a number of mutations that set it apart from other coronavirus lineages and may be better at infecting persons who have had COVID-19 or been vaccinated against it, according to the CDC.

“At this point, there is no evidence that this variant is causing any more severe illness, hospitalizations or deaths,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the state health department, is quoted in the release.

For the two weeks ending Aug. 12, four coronavirus variants of concern were responsible for about half of all the coronavirus infections in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 variant dashboard: three from the omicron XBB lineage; and the fourth was the omicron EG.5 variant.