A new COVID-19 variant, which combines a strain of Omicron and one of its sub-variants, is spreading and is notable for its two underreported symptoms.
The sub-variant, known as BA.2, brings dizziness and fatigue, according to Deseret News.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the main symptoms of the original virus that causes COVID-19 include “fever, headaches and muscle aches.” Business Insider used data from a COVID symptom study to identify the top Omicron variant symptoms, which “included runny nose, headaches, fatigue and sneezing, among several others,” Deseret reported.
The BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron now accounts for nearly a quarter of new COVID-19 infections nationwide, the CDC estimated Tuesday.
Just a week ago, the COVID-19 sub-variant made up just 10% of new cases, the CDC said. The federal agency also said that since January, Omicron has accounted for nearly all new infections in the U.S.
“BA.2’s prevalence is the highest in the Northeast, according to the CDC’s ‘Nowcast‘ estimates published Tuesday,” CBS News reported. “In the region spanning New York and New Jersey, the agency estimates 39.0% of circulating viruses are BA.2. In New England, prevalence of BA.2 is at 38.6%.”
But scientists say BA.2 is not expected to cause a new surge in COVID-19 cases. Several studies have found that BA.2 is even more transmissible than BA.1, but still scientists are not concerned.
“In early 2022, BA.2 was growing more common in a number of countries,” The New York Times recently reported. “By February, it had become dominant worldwide, driving down the once-dominant BA.1. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that BA.2 jumped to 11% in early March from 1% in early February. It could soon become dominant in this country as well.”
“But that does not mean that Americans are riding a new BA.2 wave that is infecting a lot of new people. As BA.2 became more common in the United States, the total number of new cases fell by about 95%. Worldwide, the number of daily new cases had fallen to half of what they were at their peak in late January,” the Times reported.
Others have echoed that sentiment.
“Cases of this particular omicron subvariant, one of a few, keep popping up and have roughly doubled the past few weeks in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data estimates,” the Miami Herald reported. “It now makes up 11.6% of overall virus cases as of March 5 since it began doubling as of Feb. 5.”
“All in all, I think we’re really gonna be OK and I don’t think BA.2 is gonna be problematic like omicron,” said Dr. Thomas Russo, an infectious disease doctor and professor and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Buffalo, according to the Herald.
“In some parts of the world, the BA.2 subvariant has replaced the original omicron strain, known as BA.1, as the most dominant even as global cases go down, the World Health Organization said in a March 8 statement,” the report said.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.
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