Omicron Subvariants BA.4, BA.5 Cause The Following COVID-19 Symptoms

People infected with the newer omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 experience various symptoms, including one rarely seen in the previous variants. 

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady discussed the common symptoms caused by the newer variants during a recent Facebook Live, saying that they appear similar to previous cases caused by other variants. 

“Nothing really significantly different, I would say, but just more symptoms. It’s a more virulent infection,” Arwady was quoted as saying by NBC Chicago.

According to her, the BA.4 and BA.5 strains caused more upper respiratory, cold and flu-like symptoms. Patients diagnosed with the omicron subvariants experienced fever, night sweats and sore throat. Some patients also lost their sense of taste and smell, a symptom most evident in the strains that emerged in the early days of the pandemic. 

A study published in SAGE Journals in May reported the decreasing incidence of chemosensory disruptions in the newer strains of the novel coronavirus. Researchers said that the hallmark symptom of a COVID-19 infection in the early pandemic slowly lost its prominence as the virus evolved. 

But seeing newer patients infected with the BA.5 strain of SARS-CoV-2 experiencing the symptom, it’s possible that loss of smell is making a comeback amid the new wave of infections. 

Valentina Parma, a psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, revealed that they are seeing more people struggling with the loss of smell compared to the beginning of the year. 

“What I am seeing in my corner of the world is a spike,” she told NBC News. “We’re seeing about 25% of people have an impaired sense of smell, which is not a small number.”

Arwady pointed out that doctors are seeing a lingering cough among patients, sparking speculations that the newer variants could be spreading rapidly by targeting the nasal passage instead of the lungs. 

The University of California Davis Health said that aside from the aforementioned symptoms, the latest omicron subvariants also cause runny nose, headaches, muscle pain and fatigue.

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