Scientists and Immunologists have been quite worried about the latest COVID subvariant, known as BA.5. However, Data has shown that it is farm more contagious than any previous strains and that it can not only get by antibodies created by vaccines, but it can also bypass even those gained by fighting off the actual virus.
At the start of the summer, cases of the virus had been on the rise, but the overall hospitalizations from the virus stayed very low. However, spiking cases still pushed talks about new mandates about masking, and some counties like Los Angeles are on the path to start forcing people to wear masks in large public gatherings from this coming week forward.
As of now, however, a recent report has come to light stating that perhaps the spread of BA-5 has already reached its apex.
As of writing, the U.S. is averaging roughly 426 COVID deaths a day, which is almost a 20% drop from the week prior, as reported by the Daily Mail. That is massive because deaths between July 6-13 had almost doubled over the prior weeks.
The total number of cast figures is also starting to drop off as well, falling by almost 8% over the past week to just about 128,785 per day.
As the SARS-CoV-2 continues its trend to mutate into new variants of COVID, so too are the symptoms shifting. One British study has discovered that the most common symptoms of the recent Omicron variant differ from every other variant that has come forth from the virus.
A hoarse voice and a sore throat, which until now have not been prevalent symptoms for any Delta cases, are now the most reported symptoms of the newest variant, expressed a Zoe Health Study. It seems that both those who are unvaccinated and those who are have suffered the symptoms as well.
The study also agreed with many other researchers that stated that the Omicron variant ends up causing fewer hospitalizations other than the Delta variant.
“The findings show that the duration of COVID-19 symptoms was significantly shorter (6.87 days versus 8.89 days), and participants were less likely to be hospitalized with the Omicron variant compared with the Delta variant,” explained Zoe Health via a press release sent out concerning its study.
The study also found that Omicron “appears to be much more transmissible than previous variants,” but it “causes fewer severe symptoms in multiple organs that are more affected by Delta.”
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID Response Coordinator, labeled the new BA.5 subvariant of Omicron to be “the most immune evasive” and ordered older Americans and those with compromised immune systems to take a new booster shot for increased protection.
The vaccines and their corresponding boosters that Americans were subjected to were meant to battle the original strain, and while it now offers protection from severe illness with other variants, Jha claimed that this protection was becoming less effective.
“We’re still seeing some protection against infection but not as much,” Jha stated to ABC via their show “This Week” with co-anchor Martha Raddatz on July 17. “This is that immune-evasive nature of this virus. So if you got your booster let’s say last November or December, you don’t have as much protection against this virus as you’d like.”