Coronavirus cases are spiking again the U.S. due to the appearance of the BA.5 strain. Here’s what you need to know about BA.5 and the symptoms that signal you might be affected.
What Is the BA.5 variant?
The BA.5 strain of COVID-19 is a subvariant of the Omicron variant that first appeared at the end of 2021.
Currently, this strain makes up more than half of all COVID-19 infections in the country. This is because the BA.5 is the most easily transmissible variant to date. It evades the immunity created by vaccines or past infections, so anyone can get infected.
Signs You Might Be Infected
Fortunately, the BA.5 variant isn’t more severe than the previous ones. However, due to its transmissibility, it poses special risks. It can lead to reinfection, which can damage the lungs and cause chronic conditions.
Watch out for the following symptoms and seek medical attention if they persist.
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath means that your body is struggling to transport oxygen to your lungs. This symptom can quickly worsen in a short time. If you struggle to breathe, you might need oxygen support or ventilation.
Coughing can be a sign of COVID-19 infection. If your cough doesn’t get better within 2-3 weeks, you may have complications that require medical attention.
Chest pain can have many causes, including COVID-19 infection. If you experience acute pain while breathing, you might already have lung damage because of this virus.
Keep an Eye Out
Measures may be looser, but that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is gone. Don’t ignore the symptoms mentioned above, and protect yourself and those around you.