Omicron BA.5: What Are The Symptoms and How Dangerous It Is?

Omicron BA.5: What Are The Symptoms and How Dangerous It Is?

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
September 2nd, 2022
7 mins read

Synopsis

Coronavirus new variant BA.5 was the first highly transmissible virus after alpha, beta, and delta variants. The CDC has stated that Omicron variants spread faster than spreads more rapidly than the average virus. The variant caused an alarming rise in all the cases in South Africa. BA.5 was the most transmissible of all the variants. So everyone has only one question: Are the Omicron variants Omicron BA.4 and Omicron BA.5 more harmful to humans than the delta variant?   

Key Takeaways

  • You should get the booster dose immediately
  • Vaccinated people are less likely to be severely affected
  • Covid has not yet gone completely

COVID-19 has increased at a very high pace ever since Omicron's BA.5 variant had spread all around, affecting almost everyone. In July 2022, primarily during early June, BA.5 subvariant emerged along with Omicron's BA.5, making up nearly 50% of the total cases that occurred, and this strain had been predominating in the United States of America [1]. Omicron's BA.4 accounted for almost 20% of the cases in the United States of America.

As per the empirical evidence, the original Omicron caused a much less severe disease than the delta variant. Research on BA.5 Omicron variant is still ongoing, and scientists are still learning about it. However, data has shown that hospitalization and death are low compared to the delta variant, which has killed many people. Tracking this Omicron variant is not just time-consuming but equally overwhelming as well. As days have passed, it has become challenging actually to track Omicron.

Omicron: The Background 

Let's discuss the background of the Omicron variant first. This variant was first identified in a city called Nostwana in South Africa around November 2021. Reports state otherwise; earlier cases have been reported in the Netherlands. The CDC confirmed that the first case occurred in the United States in November in a person residing in California who came to South Africa. The United States saw a predominant strain of the Omicron variant.

The World Health Organisation and the CDC regarded the Omicron variant as the variant of concern [2]. In all the early cases registered in South Africa, all the symptoms were not so severe, and this virus looked different from the previous variants. The patients suffered from extreme fatigue but no loss of taste or smell. But still, some people had to be hospitalized, and the disease was even fatal for some people. That is why experts voiced their concerns and stated that Omicron's BA.5 could not be taken lightly.   

Additional read: Omicron Symptoms, New Variants, and More: 5 Important Facts! 

Omicron BA.5

Omicron BA.5: Is It Transmissible As Well As Deadly?

Coronavirus new variant BA.5 was the first highly contagious virus after alpha, beta, and delta variants.  

Although the original Omicron has caused a significant number of Covid cases, the BA.5 variant has caused fewer cases that would lead to severe death or hospitalization. In addition, according to the CDC, if a person is vaccinated, they are less likely to show any severe symptoms of Omicron. The CDC has also stated that if a person has already been inflicted with Covid once, there's less chance of suffering from Covid once again.

Age also plays an important role. The younger you are, the less likely you're to develop severe symptoms. 

Additional read: Brain Fog After COVID-19 Treatment: Here Are 4 Important Things You Need To Know 

Are Current Vaccines Available in the Market Sufficient to Provide Immunity against Omicron Sub-Variant BA.5? 

  • At this point, people have burning questions about whether or not the previously taken vaccines can provide immunity against Omicron's BA.5 sub-variant. Some experts believe that Coronavirus new variant BA.5 sub-variants often play an important role in eluding some antibodies, mainly produced in the body after vaccinations and being infected by several infections.  
  • These also include the infections induced by Omicron subvariants. In the latter half of June, booster shots were recommended by a committee of expert scientists primarily to provide immunity against the Omicron subvariants, BA.5 and BA.4. These boosters have been planned to be made available to the general public in the latter half of 2022. 
  • The expert scientists are apprehensive of the emergence of another variant by the time the booster dose is made available to the general public. The Omicron variant is most likely to have more mutations than the delta variant. As Omicron is highly transmissible, it is more likely to invade the immune systems and affect people who have been previously infected but not vaccinated. 
  • The scientists weren't sure if these mutations would be able to work together as nothing is addictive. However, scientists are discovering if Omicron's BA.5 can reduce some vaccine effects and specific treatments rendered out by monoclonal antibodies. The CDC reported that the booster dose is highly effective in preventing hospitalization due to Covid-19. The older people were given the booster dose first. Then, after seeing progress in them, the younger people were also given the preventive dose. 
Symptoms of Omicron BA.5

How to Protect Yourself from Omicron BA.4 and Omicron BA.5 ?

  • Scientist Grubaugh emphasizes that citizens should be more aware that variants like Coronavirus and new variant BA.5 will continue to emerge as the progression of the Coronavirus. He further added that the delta variant was never the last, and neither are any of the variants. There will be variants after variants as long as the Coronavirus outbreak is there, and no one can do anything about the new strains apart from staying safe and taking vaccines.
  • All the scientists are of the unanimous opinion that the best way to be safe from this virus is to take a vaccination. Vaccination keeps the person safe and prevents the virus from getting mutated. Hence, there is a decreased chance of the virus spreading from one person to another. The booster updates are always given on the CDC website, and new recommendations are constantly being updated. 
  • Scientists have repeatedly said that the variants will always remain as long as the virus lives. But yes, medical science has progressed, and new vaccines are on the rise. Also, medical facilities should be improved continuously so that we have all the resources needed to battle with Covid. Unfortunately, Covid will stay within us as an endemic, and we will have to live with it. If you are vaccinated, you won't be severely affected by the new variants as you have all the antibodies and the immunities required to battle it. 

Can Omicron Be Detected with Home Tests Only? 

  • Looking at the current situation, there's no reason to say that at-home Covid tests, including the boxes purchased from the government's website, are less effective. These tests are effective for Omicron BA.5 as it's less dangerous than the previous strains. The FDA suggests that although antigen tests effectively detect the virus, they tend to reduce sensitivity. For Omicron's BA.5, the tests are expected to work correctly.
  • In these tests, the positive results are accurate, but the negative ones are also inaccurate. So, we have to keep that in mind while performing home tests. However, vaccinated and even boosted people will show negative even if they have Covid. These rapid tests detect a part of Covid virus protein and can detect new variants because of this. 
  • Vaccines based on Omicron's BA.5 are mainly regarded for the treatment of booster doses. Therefore, the booster dose will be released as early as possible. People are encouraged to take up the booster dose irrespective of age or eligibility, as it won't harm anybody. So, the booster dose shall be taken a right after it's released.  

Additional read: Yoga for COVID Patients: Try These 5 Top Poses to Strengthen Your Lungs 

The Symptoms for Omicron's BA.5  

As per the current situation, Omicron's BA.5 is similar to the symptoms of the original Omicron. The Coronavirus new variant BA.5 affects people, and they start showing Omicron's BA.5 symptoms like fatigue, running nose, and sore throat. Back pain has also been a symptom that is noticed quite frequently. The loss of taste and smell are no longer considered symptoms of Covid as they are not witnessed very often. These were common with the alpha, beta, and delta strains. If you notice any of these Omicron BA.5 symptoms above, it's best for you to get a test done and rest so that you prevent further infection. In this way, you also save others from being infected. Then nowadays, you can also opt for online doctor consultations for Covid 19 treatment. 

This was all the information about Omicron's BA.5. This was a cohesive article about the symptoms of Coronavirus new variant BA.5, its causes, its background, whether you can test at home, and everything else. If you notice any symptoms, you can go to a general physician for help. Yoga helps a lot during Covid times. Physicians refer to many forms of Yoga for Covid patients. Taking those up will also help you in miraculous ways. Do follow Bajaj Finserv Health for more such informative articles.

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