Omicron sub-variant discussed by infectious disease expert
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Appearing in parts of Europe as well as the UK, Omicron BA.2 has been closely watched by scientists. The stealth variant differs from its predecessor in many aspects. Here are the symptoms to help spot the new strain.
The BA.2 variant was identified as even more transmissible, compared to the original fast-spreading Covid strain, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Now, Japanese research has found that the stealth variant may also cause more severe disease.
What’s more, the scientists think Omicron BA.2 may be able to fend off some treatments and be more resistant against vaccine immunity.
WHO reports that based on evidence, ranging from the transmission to impacts of the jabs, BA.2 should “continue to be considered a variant of concern”.
They also stress that BA.2 needs to remain being monitored by public health authorities.
There have been increasing reports of the subvariant in recent weeks, with one of the hotspots being Denmark.
It’s been established that BA.2 is different from the original variant.
The difference lies mainly in its genetic sequence, as well as some differences in the spike protein.
Scientific evidence has also proved that BA.2 has a growth advantage over the original strain.
There are more studies being conducted to understand the subvariant better.
But WHO explains that this advantage could be due to BA.2 Omicron being more transmissible.
The good news is that Covid cases have overall been declining globally.
What are the symptoms of Omicron BA.2?
As of now, there’s no official list of symptoms connected directly to Omicron BA.2.
But some experts have shared that it’s likely this new variant shows symptoms that are no different from the Omicron BA.1.
Here’s the full list of symptoms linked to the original Omicron based on expert and patient reports:
- Scratchy throat
- Mild muscle aches
- Extreme tiredness
- Dry cough
- Night sweats
- Runny nose
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Loss of appetite
Omicron is believed to cause different symptoms from the classic three Covid signs in half of the cases, according to the ZOE COVID Study app.
As reported by the NHS, the classic three include cough, fever and loss or change to taste and smell.
According to the new rules, you’re no longer required by law to self-isolate if you have Covid.
However, the NHS still asks people to “stay at home and avoid contact with other people”.
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