As reported by the State Health Secretariats of Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, Fiocruz has identified three cases of the BA.2 lineage of the Omicron variant, using genetic sequencing. Two of the cases occurred in Rio de Janeiro and the other in the southern state of Santa Catarina. The findings were confirmed by the Laboratory of Measles and Respiratory Viruses of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz), a national reference center for respiratory viruses for the Brazilian Ministry of Health, which has been mapping genomes of the virus since early in the pandemic. The laboratory is part of the Fiocruz Genomic Network.
The initial diagnosis was provided by the LACENs (Central Laboratories) of these two states, using RT-qPCR techniques. The samples were sent to the Laboratory of Measles and Respiratory Viruses of the IOC/Fiocruz for genomic sequencing, which then confirmed the presence of subvariant BA.2. The final results were reported to the Health Secretariats of the two states and to the Ministry of Health, according to the reference protocols.