COVID-19 Latest: The dominant “BA5” Omicron subvariant
Just as health officials are learning more about this sub-variant, another one has already sprung up overseas.
TOLEDO, Ohio — According to the CDC, a new Omicron sub-variant of COVID-19 is dominant here in the U.S. ‘BA5’ is already producing questions, but some baseline information is already known.
“From the information we have so far, ‘BA5’ is causing disease similar to other omicron variants, which has been less severe than the previous waves. Some of that is probably due to underlying immunity because people have been infected or have been vaccinated and some of that might be due to the nature of the virus itself,” said Dr. Daniel Rhoads, Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Rhoads says that throughout the pandemic, COVID-19 has continued to mutate and that’s how variants and sub-variants emerge. When it comes to “BA5” in particular, there is still a lot to learn. However, it’s considered highly transmissible. Symptoms also seem to be wide-ranging, and can include a fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache, and a persistent cough.
He adds that all of the normal precautions people have been taking during the pandemic are still recommended, such as wearing a mask when needed and getting vaccinated. While this new sub-variant is dominant as of now, researchers are also keeping a close eye on another one overseas.
“So ‘BA 275’ is a variant that has emerged recently. It was first detected in India and it’s been identified in more than a dozen countries, including the US. So it kind of seems like an up-and-coming variant. We don’t know anything really except that it is emerging,” Dr. Rhoads explained.
To stay up-to-date with the latest numbers and facts on this new sub-variant, be sure to stop by the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department’s website, where that information — and then some — is available. As of now, the county remains at the medium level for community spread of COVID-19.