Covid Variant BA.5

Dec 1, 2022

Covid Testing in Arden, NC

As Covid-19 continues to spread, more variants are being discovered. The BA.5 variant is a new form of the virus that could be one of the most contagious yet. Scientists are still researching this variant, but here’s what we know so far.

What is the Omicron COVID-19 BA.5 Variant?

The Omicron Covid-19 BA.5 variant is a form of the Covid virus that has been identified as one of the disease’s newest incarnations. The BA.5 variant is descended from the Omicron variant.

What are the Symptoms of the BA.5 Variant?

The symptoms of the BA.5 variant are like the typical symptoms of Covid. They include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain (especially in the back and neck)
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of taste or smell

It is not yet clear whether the loss of taste or smell, once the identifying symptom of Covid, is common amongst individuals infected with BA.5. If you start to feel sick in any way, it’s best to assume it could be Covid and get tested. Everyone is different, and you may experience different symptoms than your friends or loved ones.

Is BA.5 the Most Contagious Subvariant Yet?

BA.5 is one of the most contagious subvariants of Covid yet. Scientists have seen rapid upticks in infections from this new variant, and it is continuing to drive infection rates. Therefore, it’s even more important to get your Covid vaccine, get your booster shots, and get tested if you feel sick or have been exposed. You could have been infected with the new variant and potentially spread the virus to your family, friends, or other loved ones. When it comes to Covid, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Does BA.5 Cause More Severe Covid Illness?

BA.5 has not been shown to cause more severe cases of Covid – however, this generally goes for people who are fully vaccinated (original dose plus booster shots). Hospitalization rates are lower for the BA.5 variant, but this is because more people are getting vaccinated.

Does BA.5 Evade Immunity?

BA.5 can evade previous Covid immunity. Why? The cells your body has created to protect you from Covid are designed to recognize previous versions of the virus, not the new form. Your body will still recognize the virus as a threat, but it could take longer and lead to infection.

How to Protect Yourself from Covid Subvariant BA.5?

The best line of defense against the Covid subvariant BA.5 is the Covid vaccine. The vaccine continues to protect people from severe illness that could lead to hospitalization or even death. It is recommended that you stay up to date on your booster shots for maximum protection.

If you are immunocompromised, it is recommended that you continue to wear a mask indoors or when in a large group of people (e.g., at a concert or sporting event). Examples of people with compromised immune systems include patients diagnosed with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or certain forms of cancer. Other factors can also impact your immunity levels, such as your age or tobacco use.

Contact Community Lab Today

If you believe you may be infected with a form of Covid, CommunityLab can help. We offer curbside Covid testing for all variants, including the BA.5 subvariant. Testing is fast and easy, often taking less than 10 minutes. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more or to schedule your test.