Multiple coronavirus variants — and subvariants of those variants — are spreading throughout the United States and the world, raising questions about which COVID-19 symptoms to look out for.
The backdrop: New COVID-19 variants are popping up all over the world right now. Some of the variants are subvariants of the omicron variant or recombinant variants that combine two different strains.
- The World Health Organization said Monday it is monitoring new omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are sublineages of the omicron variant.
- The BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 variants — again, subvariants of the omicron’s subvariant BA.2 — have been responsible for a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in New York, the New York State Department of Public Health said Wednesday.
- The omicron XE variant combines the original omicron strain with the omicron subvariant BA.2. It was recently discovered in Japan, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
Symptoms: Northwestern’s Dr. Michael Angarone, an associate professor of medicine in infectious diseases, told NBC Chicago that key COVID-19 symptoms right now are similar to other coronavirus symptoms.
- “So this is the same virus, so SARS Coronavirus 2, so we’re seeing the same symptoms,” he said.
Yes, but: Dr. Gregory Huhn, an infectious disease physician, told NBC Chicago that it’s too early to see the full scope of new COVID-19 symptoms connected to the variants.
- “I don’t know if we, right now, know the particular features that are distinct for BA.2 versus BA.1. I mean, for BA.1, we knew that it was mostly an upper respiratory-type infection rather than the lower respiratory infections that can lead toward pneumonia and further and greater complications,” he said.
The bottom line: Anyone worried about catching the coronavirus right now should look out for common COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough, fatigue, headaches and a fever. We’ve published a few resources to help: