(ORDO NEWS) — The Omicron strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to evolve, creating new, more contagious variants.
Omicron BA.5 appears to be the most contagious version to date and causes the majority of current cases. What do we know about him?
Already forgotten about the coronavirus? Alas, he hasn’t gone anywhere.
Experts say that the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus “deserves attention”, as it causes many cases of reinfection, both in those who have been ill and in those who have been vaccinated.
The relatively good news is that when infected with BA.5, COVID-19 appears to be milder than when infected with earlier variants, and vaccines are still effective in preventing severe cases and death.
This may explain the incipient rise in infections, as BA.5 is “very sticky.” In fact, the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to mutate. Less contagious strains go away, but more contagious ones emerge.
What do we know about BA.5
Do modern tests show it?
Right now, there is no evidence to suggest that home-based rapid COVID-19 tests are less effective with BA.5 compared to earlier Omicron variants. Antigen tests successfully detect Omicron but may have reduced sensitivity.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 but have tested negative at home, consider having a PCR test, which is a highly sensitive and accurate laboratory test for COVID-19.
How dangerous is Omicron BA.5
BA.5 is a sub-variant of Omicron. It differs from the “original” virus, but not enough to have its own variant status (e.g. Delta is a different variant from Omicron or Alpha).
However, BA.5 is believed to be the most contagious version of the virus, and it is the most successful in evading immunity.
This means that more people will be re-infected with SARS-CoV-2, which could put them at risk for complications and post-COVID syndrome, even if the infection itself was mild.
What are the symptoms of BA.5?
As of now, there are no reports indicating that BA.5 causes different symptoms in people compared to earlier versions of Omicron.
Many people who are currently getting COVID-19 (especially those who are fully vaccinated) have symptoms similar to the common cold. People talk about sore throat, runny nose and tiredness.
Back pain is a peculiar new symptom of COVID-19 reported by some people with Omicron, and the once very common loss of taste or smell appears to be much less common with all Omicron variants.
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