Stealth Omicron BA.2 variant: What you need to know about new COVID symptoms

Taylor Sanzo
masslive.com (TNS)

The recent BA.2 COVID-19 variant, a subvariant of omicron often referred to as “Stealth Omicron,” can present different symptoms in those infected, compared to earlier strains, according to various health officials.

The new additional symptoms announced were reports of dizziness and fatigue.

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One recent study indicates that the new BA.2 subvariant spreads up to 33% more easily than the original omicron variant.

The BA.1 variant is the most prolific sublineage of omicron, detected in most countries worldwide and currently making up 99% of cases in the United States, Forbes reported. Now, the BA.2 variant is being reported as possibly worse than BA.1.

“It might be, from a human’s perspective, a worse virus than BA.1 and might be able to transmit better and cause worse disease,” said Dr. Daniel Rhoads, section head of microbiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, according to CNN.

FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. The coronavirus mutant widely known as stealth omicron is now causing more than a third of new omicron cases around the world. But scientists still don’t know how it could affect the future of the pandemic. (NIAID/NIH via AP, File)

The World Health Organization released a statement that they have discussed the latest evidence on the Omicron variant of concern, including BA.1 and BA.2.

“Based on available data of transmission, severity, reinfection, diagnostics, therapeutics and impacts of vaccines, the group reinforced that the BA.2 sublineage should continue to be considered a variant of concern and that it should remain classified as Omicron. The group emphasized that BA.2 should continue to be monitored as a distinct sublineage of Omicron by public health authorities,” WHO said.

The Center for Disease Control is reminding individuals that the best way to lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus is to get vaccinated.