Coronavirus: There’s a third variant of Omicron ‘BA.3’; all about the variants and their symptoms

The severity that a variant of the virus has on the human body depends on how the host body reacts to the virus.

Omicron is considered to be the milder variant of coronavirus among all other variants which have been detected so far. During the third wave which was primarily caused by its subvariant BA.1, there were less cases of hospitalization. However, this variant has a rapid rate of transmission.

In December 2021, a month after the subvariant was detected, experts had said that Omicron is contagious but is less likely to put one in hospital. “Unlike the pattern observed in the Beta and Delta waves, the rise in cases during the Omicron wave was not accompanied by a concomitant rise in hospital admissions,” a December 2021 research study published in the Lancet had said.

To understand the severity of the Omicron variant, the WHO is looking at experimental data on whether this variant causes severe disease in hamsters. Speaking about a Japanese study, Maria Van Kerkhove said, “And this is an experimental study, looking at hamsters in particular. And what they were looking at is whether or not, experimentally within hamsters, there was a signal of causing more severe disease under these experimental conditions. We are also looking at severity in what we call the real world,” and added that in countries where both BA.1 and BA.2 were in circulation there has been no change in terms of hospitalization.

While nothing much has yet been said about the severities caused by the three sub variants, except that they have similar severities which is obvious as they share the same parental variant, a January 2022 report on Forbes has said,” We reiterate that BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3 differ from each other as much as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants differ from one another. Several mutations differ between the three as well. We suspect that these differences will be reflected in the septic characteristics of each variant affecting growth rate, suppression of innate immunity, virulence, and vaccine evasion.”

The common symptoms of Omicron COVID infection are: sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, body ache and mild fever.

Read: “Coronavirus is the perfect storm for the heart”: Doctors share why you need to watch out for heart rate spikes post COVID


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