The BA.2 subvariant of the COVID-19 virus is now the dominant coronavirus strain in the world, and while health officials say the it acts like the original omicron version of the coronavirus in many ways, they see some differences between the two.
Researchers say that the subvariant has been shown to have an increase in transmissibility, making it easier for the virus to move around the world quickly,
A study of 8,500 households and 18,000 individuals conducted by Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut found that BA.2 was “substantially” more transmissible than the original omicron, the BBC reported. Some reports have it at 70 times as contagious.
Researchers say the SSI study also showed the BA.2 subvariant to be somewhat better able to evade current vaccines, making it easier to spread.
While BA.2 seems to be more contagious, so far, there is no research to show that it is more severe than omicron.
Many people diagnosed with BA.2 suffer mild or no symptoms. Most have one or more of the symptoms others with earlier versions of the novel coronavirus reported, but some health care providers say they are hearing different complaints.
What are the different symptoms being seen? Here is what we know.
Different symptoms for BA.2?
A study out of the United Kingdom is showing that those with BA.2 are coming in for medical care because of gut issues such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea, rather than issues with coughing or trouble breathing that people with earlier versions of the virus have struggle with.
The Zoe COVID study reported a “sharp increase” in the number of people who complained of gastrointestinal symptoms between mid-December through the end of January. Stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite were the symptoms most likely to be reported.
The Zoe COVID Study is an app-based study created by scientists at Harvard, King’s College London, Stanford, and Massachusetts General Hospital that tracks symptoms of the virus.
Gastrointestinal issues were not the only different symptoms people with BA.2 report. While earlier COVID-19 variants affected the lungs, anecdotal reports have suggested that people testing positive for BA.2 often complain more of dizziness and fatigue.
The most reported symptoms for those who have contracted all forms of COVID-19 include:
· Fever or chills
· Shortness of breath
· Muscle or body aches
· Loss of taste or smell
· Sore throat
· Congestion or runny nose
· Nausea or vomiting
The symptoms vary among those who contract the virus, but researchers remind the public that if a person is vaccinated and generally healthy before being infected, it is likely they will have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all if they contract the virus.
©2022 Cox Media Group