Unvaccinated individuals might experience more severe COVID-19 symptoms from the new BA.2 variant, an infectious disease expert recently told the Deseret News.

Driving the news: Dr. Robert Quigley, an infectious disease expert and senior vice president of International SOS, a leading medical and security services company, told the Deseret News in an email that people’s symptoms from the BA.2 variant may depend on their vaccination status.

  • “Much like previous variants, those who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk for infection with the BA.2 variant and are at risk of developing more severe symptoms,” he said.
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Symptoms for unvaccinated people may include “cough, fatigue and trouble breathing with a reduced likelihood of fever as seen with preceding variants,” Quigley said.

  • “There are multiple factors that contribute to the severity of COVID-19 symptoms for unvaccinated individuals, including pre-existing health conditions, age, and prior history of COVID-19 infection,” he added.

The bigger picture: Dr. Leana Wen, a professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, told CNN that unvaccinated individuals aren’t the only ones who need to worry about BA.2.

Anyone who is “vulnerable to severe illness from Covid-19 despite vaccination should be concerned about the coronavirus in general,” Wen told CNN.

  • “COVID-19 infection will result in mild illness” for most people, she said.
  • But those who are immunocompromised or with multiple underlying conditions might have more difficult experiences.