The BA.2 variant doesn’t appear to cause more severe symptoms compared to previous coronavirus variants. But any change to that could delay the full return to normal, 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 that the BA.2 variant’s predicted uptick may lead to a return of mandates and restrictions.

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What he said: “The BA.2 variant has the potential to prolong the existing Omicron surge globally which would be manifested by a flattening slope,” Quigley told the Deseret News. “If, in fact, we begin to see an uptick in cases for this BA.2 variant we may very well begin to see mask and vaccination mandates come back into play in certain areas.”

Yes, but: Quigley said that “it is not yet clear which symptoms are unique to the BA.2 variant.”

  • He said, “it is likely that they will remain similar to those” of the original omicron variant.
  • “Thus far, symptoms have remained mild for those that are fully vaccinated,” he said.

The bigger picture: Experts remain split about whether or not coronavirus cases will rise amid the BA.2 variant surge.

  • Multiple experts have predicted in the last week that COVID-19 cases will rise in the United States soon enough as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Asia and Europe.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the coronavirus, said there probably won’t be a major uptick in cases.
  • “I don’t think we will,” he added. “The easiest way to prevent that is to continue to get people vaccinated. And for those who have been vaccinated, to continue to get them boosted, so that’s really where we stand right now.”