Health experts provide information about the latest omicron subvariant


CLEVELAND, Oh. (WAVE) – A new omicron subvariant, known as ‘BA.5’, has become dominant in the United States, according to the CDC.

“From the information we have so far, BA.5 is causing disease similar to other omicron variants, which has been less severe than the previous waves,” said Daniel Rhoads, MD, microbiologist for Cleveland Clinic. “Some of that is probably due to underlying immunity because people have been infected or have been vaccinated and some of that might be due to the nature of the virus itself.”

Throughout the pandemic, the coronavirus has continued to mutate, causing variants and subvariants to emerge, Rhoads said.

Health experts said there is still a lot to learn about the highly transmissible BA.5.

Symptoms appear to be wide-ranging and can include a fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache and a persistent cough.

Rhoads continues to recommend precautions like wearing a mask when needed and getting vaccinated.

Researchers said they’re keeping a close eye on another subvariant that emerged overseas.

“So BA.2.75 is a variant that has emerged recently,” Rhoads said. “It was first detected in India and it’s been identified in more than a dozen countries, including the US. So it kind of seems like an up-and-coming variant. We don’t know anything really except that it is emerging.”

Anyone can find out more information about infection rates in the community by checking the local health department’s website.

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