Watch Out for the First Signs of This New Omicron Variant

The Covid-19 public health emergency renewed as the Omicron variant XBB.1.5 caused a spike in new Covid-19 cases across the country. According to the CDC, this variant was responsible for roughly 28% of Covid-19 instances during the first week of January 2023.

XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible and immune-evasive among Omicron subvariants. The different protections you have used for the past couple of years might not work against this new variant. Luckily, it doesn’t cause severe illness.

The Symptoms of XBB.1.5

The symptoms of XBB.1.5 often show up two to 14 days following the exposure. However, it has no new symptoms compared to the previous variants. The CDC confirmed that these could be the signs of any Covid-19 variants:

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Fever
  • Persistent coughing
  • Breathing problem
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Inability to taste or smell
  • Throat discomfort
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Vomiting
  • Uneasiness of the stomach

The symptoms usually endure between five and seven days. However, like other variants, it may result in “long Covid symptoms” such as brain fog and fatigue even after recovery.

How to Prevent XBB.1.5

Vaccination and keeping boosters current is still the best way to fight off Covid-19, although breakthrough infections can still occur. It’s also important to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and avoid crowded places to minimize infection risks. N95 and KN95 masks are among the best options as they have 95% filtration efficacy.

When to Seek Professional Help

Call health professionals immediately when you notice warning signs of Covid-19. These symptoms can include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and pale skin or lips.

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