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Omicron Symptoms Usually Appear Like This Now

A new variant has new symptoms.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The rise of the worldwide BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has health experts on high alert. As of now, they're not sure if the new iteration of COVID-19 will cause a new surge in the U.S. Some reports indicate that BA.2 is causing some slightly different symptoms. They're important to be aware of so you can get tested, isolate, and call your doctor ASAP for advice if you develop them. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Dizziness and Fatigue

Woman recovering from an illness in bed at home.
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Some different early symptoms have been reported with the BA.2 subvariant, said Washington State health official Francisco Velazquez recently. Namely: Dizziness and fatigue. Unfortunately, previous Omicron infection doesn't seem to be protective against contracting BA.2, he said. But the COVID vaccines are still highly protective against severe illness or death.

2

Stomach Pain

Unhealthy young woman with stomachache leaning on the bed at home.
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Last month, scientists with the ZOE COVID Symptom Study said there had been a "sharp increase" in reports of stomach pain. "Gastrointestinal (GI) problems — such as diarrhea, stomach pains, feeling sick and losing your appetite or skipping meals — can all be symptoms of COVID-19," they said, while noting those symptoms might also be attributable to seasonal stomach flu.

3

Symptoms Seem to Depend on Vaccination Status

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BA.2 seems to present differently depending on whether you've been vaccinated or not. "If you're vaccinated, it seems to be more milder symptoms, and I'm very hopeful that we're not going to have an additional strain on the healthcare system," medical researcher Dr. Jasmine Plummer told ABC 7 Los Angeles on Tuesday.  

4

BA.2 Symptoms Not That Different Overall

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Otherwise, Omicron and BA.2 symptoms don't markedly differ from the Delta variant, the COVID Symptom Study indicates. The five most common symptoms are the same: Runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and sore throat. People have also frequently reported loss of appetite and brain fog, but those were also common with previous variants.

RELATED: The #1 Sign Your Blood Sugar is "Way Too High"

5

Other Common COVID Symptoms

Young woman sitting alone on her sofa at home and coughing.
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According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

RELATED: Virus Experts Issue New Warning About Omicron

6

BA.2 More Contagious, Not More Severe

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On PBS NewsHour last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, said that BA.2 has one "very important difference" from Omicron and several similarities."It is more transmissible," he said. However, "it doesn't appear to be any more severe, and it doesn't seem to evade immune responses either induced by the vaccine or by prior infection." 

RELATED: Here's What Lyme Disease Feels Like, Say Physicians

7

How to Stay Safe Out There

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Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael