Not even President Joe Biden is safe from the infectious omicron subvariant BA.5. Here’s everything you need to know
It feels like everyone, including President Joe Biden, has caught the omicron variant. The new COVID-19 subvariant BA.5 quickly became the dominant strain behind nearly 80% of all cases in the United States.
Hospitalization numbers saw a 4.3% increase since last week, with the current seven-day average at more than 6,200 cases. The number is still lower than the omicron wave in January, when hospital admissions reached over 21,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker.
Daily cases have reached over 140,000 in the U.S., but experts believe that the actual number could be seven times higher because of the popularity of at-home COVID-19 tests and a lack of reporting when the result of an at-home test is positive, as I previously reported.
What do BA.5 symptoms look like?
Dr. Claire Taylor, a general practitioner in the United Kingdom, took to Twitter to talk about her experience when her family was reinfected with what she suspects was BA.5.
She wrote that her family had omicron 12 weeks ago. Although she expected a reinfection, she said she was surprised to get sick again “so quickly.”
When Taylor’s 9-year-old son with a temperature of 101.84 complained about “a painful stiff neck,” she thought it was meningitis, which causes swelling around the brain and spinal cord.
But a painful stiff neck isn’t commonly seen in omicron patients, Dr. Julianne Burns, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Stanford Children’s Health in San Francisco, told Insider. COVID-19 symptoms cause more “general body aches,” she added.
The worst of it is a severely sore throat, UCSF’s Dr. Peter Chin-Hong told ABC 7 Bay Area.
“Like their throat is on fire with BA.5,” said Chin-Hong. “We hear it’s the worst sore throat they’ve had.”