The BA.2 COVID-19 variant — a subvariant of the omicron variant — reportedly creates different COVID-19 symptoms compared to earlier strains, per KREM 2 News.
The news: Spokane Regional Health District Health Officer Francisco Velazquez told KREM 2 News that the BA.2 variant spreads more easily than the original omicron and comes with more symptoms.
Symptoms: Velazquez said new symptoms include:
Why it matters: Though COVID-19 cases are dwindling, research suggests the omicron variant can reinfect people, putting people at risk for another round of infection and more COVID-19 symptoms.
What’s next: Velazquez told KREM 2 News people should continue to get vaccinated and boosted to lower their risk of infection, especially because those two symptoms can come from other strains of the virus.
The bigger picture: Scientists have some evidence that the BA.2 subvariant of the omicron coronavirus variant can cause more severe COVID-19 symptoms compared to the previous original omicron variant strain, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
- The research includes recent lab experiments in Japan that found BA.2 has some features that can make it capable of causing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
- “It might be, from a human’s perspective, a worse virus than BA.1 and might be able to transmit better and cause worse disease,” said Dr. Daniel Rhoads, section head of microbiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, according to CNN.