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What is a COVID-19 variant?

Viruses are constantly changing through mutation, and sometimes these mutations can result in new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Mutation and new variants of the virus are expected to occur – some variants emerge and disappear, while others persist. Public health organizations around the world monitor the emergence of new variants. As of March 2022, the Omicron variant is the dominant variant of the virus that is circulating in the United States. The Omicron variant spreads more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Delta variant. Slowing the spread of the virus, by protecting yourself and others, can help slow the emergence of new variants.

Visit the CDC’s website on virus variants for more information about the Delta variant, Omicron variant, and other variants of concern.