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Experts predict an omicron wave this summer. Here are the symptoms to look out for

The two new omicron variants can evade antibodies, which worries experts

SHARE Experts predict an omicron wave this summer. Here are the symptoms to look out for

An illustration of the omicron variant.

Illustration by Zoë Petersen, Deseret News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks indoors and in public spaces if the COVID-19 community levels are high as two new omicron variants gain momentum and are on the path to becoming the dominant strains.

Driving the news: The health agency’s data shows that these COVID-19 subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, make up close to 35% of new infections in the United States as the daily new COVID-19 case averages rise to 100,000 a day.

  • But what’s really concerning for experts is the strains’ ability to evade antibodies from vaccines or previous infection, as I previously reported.

What to expect: “That has changed our view for what will happen this summer,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, per The Boston Globe. Although he still expects cases to decrease, that will happen at a much slower pace now.

  • Mokdad even pointed to the possibility of a third wave over the summer, with another rise in cases starting in October, connected to changing seasons and waning immunity — as long as there aren’t any newer variants in the race.

Symptoms to look out for: As I previously reported, the CDC has listed common symptoms for COVID-19. The symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headache.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

But the most common omicron-related symptoms are:

  • Cough.
  • Fatigue.
  • Congestion.
  • Runny nose.