Surefire Signs Omicron is in Your Body
BA.2, the highly contagious Omicron subvariant, has become the dominant type of COVID-19 worldwide. Meanwhile, cases of BA.2 are starting to rise in parts of the U.S. as overall case numbers continue to decline. So can you tell if you've contracted BA.2 by symptoms? Here's what the experts say. 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.
BA.2 Symptoms Not That Different From Omicron, Delta
Experts say BA.2 symptoms don't seem to be all that distinct from original Omicron (BA.1) or the immediately preceding Delta variant. According to the COVID Symptom Study, the five most common symptoms are the same: Runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and sore throat.
"I don't know if we, right now, know the particular features that are distinct for BA.2 versus BA.1," said Dr. Gregory Huhn, an infectious disease physician, told NBC 5 Chicago last weekend. "For BA.1, we knew that it was mostly an upper respiratory-type infection rather than the lower respiratory infections that can lead toward pneumonia and further and greater complications."
Other Common COVID Symptoms
The first symptom of BA.2 can vary. According to some anecdotal reports, some people are experiencing more dizziness and fatigue than with previous variants. The CDC says these are the most common symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms Seem to Depend on Vaccination Status
BA.2 seems to affect people differently depending on vaccination status. "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 last week.
BA.2 More Contagious, Not More Severe
The good news: While BA.2 is more contagious than previous variants, it doesn't seem to cause more severe effects or complications, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert. "It does not appear to be any more serious when it comes to complications, like the need for hospitalization and advanced disease," said Fauci on Fox News last Saturday. "And it doesn't appear that it escapes immune protection any more or less than the original Omicron."
How to Stay Safe Out There
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.
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