COVID-19 Omicron Subvariant Presents 2 New Symptoms: Report

People should be wary of two new COVID-19 symptoms observed in patients down with the new omicron subvariant, BA.2. 

Stealth Omicron Symptoms

A month after the omicron subvariant BA.2 made the headlines for being a “stealth” version of the novel coronavirus, health officials are now warning of two new symptoms not typically seen in patients infected with other variants. 

Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced last week that people should also look for dizziness and fatigue when trying to decipher if they have caught the COVID-19 virus. The symptoms were common in BA.2 cases, based on collected data. 

The BA.2 subvariant was previously determined to present slightly different symptoms than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and was also said to spread 30% more easily than its main variant, omicron. 

Understanding The BA.2 Subvariant

In late January, health experts said stealth omicron featured mutations comparable to the delta variant instead of its parent variant. Because of this, BA.2 is harder to identify compared to the original omicron version, BA.1. 

A PCR test will not easily differentiate BA.2 from the delta strain due to similar mutations. On the other hand, the omicron variant is easy to tell apart from the delta strain using the same test. 

Although the moniker it was given made it seem like stealth omicron would bring a much bigger problem than delta, that’s not the case. Experts said that aside from not causing more severe illness than the delta variant, the COVID-19 vaccines are also just as effective against BA.2 as other strains of the virus.

Addressing Stealth Omicron

As of late, stealth omicron is being blamed for the rapid surge in cases of COVID-19 across the globe. However, it is not widespread in the United States despite being reported in all 50 states, according to AL.com.

For SRHD health officer Francisco Velazquez, it is crucial to monitor symptoms, especially the two newly reported ones, dizziness and fatigue. But since both symptoms are not specific and could come from other conditions and diseases, he encouraged everyone to get vaccinated and boosted to lower the risk of infection. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also been recommending the vaccines as they remain the best weapons against COVID-19 and its variants. COVID vaccines are already available to everyone, including kids as young as 5 years old. 

It is worth noting that the CDC has dubbed stealth omicron as a variant of concern under its parent variant. Scientists reported that a previous infection with the BA.1 strain does not give immunity against BA.2. 

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