Omicron is a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and has taken over the world within a few months. Now, a new sub-variant of Omicron called BA.2 or “stealth” Omicron has appeared and raises many questions regarding the symptoms and dangers of this variant.
According to information from the Hanoi Department of Health, 20/30 districts of the city have recorded the Omicron variant; variant BA.2 accounted for 87% of all samples detected with Omicron variant. Notably, the BA.2 sub-variant is 1.5 times more likely to spread than the original Omicron variant and 30 percent more likely to evade the immune effects of current vaccines than the parent variant.
Omicrons often have cold-like symptoms and usually the symptoms will last for several days. With “stealth” Omicron, however, cases reported that they often experience intestinal problems.
Omicron “stealth” causes intestinal symptoms
Professor of Genetic Epidemiology Tim Spector, King’s College London, lead researcher on the COVID-19 symptom monitoring app, ZOE, says you can experience intestinal symptoms with BA.2 infection. because this variant affects the gut more than the nose. As a result, most “stealth” Omicron infections present with stomach problems, rather than respiratory problems. This causes confusion with other common illnesses and prevents patients from getting tested for COVID and spreading the disease in the community.
Not only that, this also leads to false negatives because the viral load in the nose or mouth is extremely low.
The “stealth” omicrons often cause problems in the gut. Illustration.
Common intestinal symptoms of “stealth” Omicron
Not only in cases of “stealth” Omicron infections, but other cases of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus variant can have intestinal problems. The only difference in the “stealth” Omicron is that intestinal problems are more common.
6 possible intestinal symptoms of a viral infection are:
How “stealth” omicrons infect the intestinal tract?
According to Professor Spector, the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body through the nose or mouth and then multiplies in the respiratory system. In some cases, the virus attacks the intestines and can lead to persistent COVID symptoms in the gut. Therefore, the virus cannot be found by throat or nasopharyngeal swab tests.
According to a study conducted by Danish researchers, the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is 1.5 times more transmissible than the original Omicron variant.
According to Cornelius Römer, bioinformatician, University of Basel, Switzerland, BA.2 may have been around the same time as the original Omicron variant (also known as BA.1).
The “stealth” Omicron has about 20 mutations that differ from the original Omicron variant. Illustration.
Other symptoms of “stealth” Omicron
Based on the study results, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that Omicron mainly affects the upper respiratory tract (instead of the lungs in earlier variants). So the symptoms of this variant are different from the previous ones.
As a sub-variant of Omicron, the same will be found in BA.2. This means that this new variant will not lead to symptoms such as loss of smell, taste and breathing difficulties.
According to the ZOE COVID app, chills are one of the most commonly reported symptoms of BA.2.
According to a report by the US National Library of Medicine, the two early signs of “stealth” Omicron are dizziness and fatigue. In addition, other possible symptoms are:
– Dry cough
– Sore throat
– Muscle aches
– Increased heart rate
Vaccinate to prevent Omicron “stealth”. Illustration.
Although BA.2 is a minor variant of Omicron, its virological features differ from the original variant.
According to the researchers, the “stealth” Omicron has about 20 mutations that are different from the original Omicron variant. This makes it difficult to determine how the virus will react and possibly affect the human body.
The persistence of COVID symptoms as well as the effectiveness of the vaccine against this variant have not been specifically evaluated. However, scientists still affirm, for now, all we can do is vaccinate against COVID and adhere to 5K, especially wearing masks, disinfecting hands frequently and avoiding gathering in crowded places. crowded places.
(Source: Times of India, India)
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