Stealth Omicron: Two symptoms ‘not typically seen’ in patients infected with other strains

Omicron sub-variant discussed by infectious disease expert

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The ever-changing nature of Covid has thwarted most pandemic exit strategies to date. Fortunately, however, the World Health Organisation recently reported that the “global circulation of all variants is reportedly declining”. Health experts also predict the virus will soon lose grip, offering hope an end to the COVID-19 crisis may be in sight. But the Omicron Stealth variant is reportedly gaining ground in the UK, asserting dominance. Two symptoms have been reported in connection to the strain, according to recent reports.

Researchers believe Stealth Omicron is driving up rates of COVID-19 infections across the globe, but a lack of unique symptoms means it is hard to differentiate from its predecessors.

Data collated by the Spokane Regional Health District last week, however, said that marked fatigue and dizziness may enable people to distinguish the stealth sub-variant.

The health body’s health officer Francisco Velazquez, told KREM 2 News last week, that reports of the two symptoms are becoming increasingly common in patients infected with the BA.2 variant.

What’s more, reports state that the two symptoms are not typically seen in patients with other variants.

READ MORE: What is Stealth Omicron? Symptoms of new variant to spot as cases soar by 700% in 11 days

The latest statement reinforces earlier reports from Angelique Coetzee, a South African doctor who alerted authorities to Omicron in November 2021.

The health expert had said fatigue and muscle pain could be two of the earliest symptoms of the BA.2 variant.

The variant generally produces cold-like symptoms that can clear within days.

But other key symptoms linked to the strain have included vertigo, according to early reports.

What’s more, early laboratory studies revealed Stealth Omicron contains mutations that make it harder to distinguish from other variants using PCR tests.

“If [it] is constant or very intense, you should inform your healthcare professional as they may want to do some further investigations.”

Recent reports suggest the novel strain of the variant could be 30 percent more transmissible than the original Omicron.

But other estimations put the increase in transmissibility as high as 60 percent, suggesting it could be substantially more contagious than previous strains.

What’s more, early laboratory studies revealed Stealth Omicron contains mutations that make it harder to distinguish from other variants using PCR tests.

This lack of genomic sequencing means many cases of the new sub-variant could go undetected, according to early research.

It comes as a recent study conducted by researchers in Denmark found that getting BA.2 after infection from the original strain was possible.

The study recorded a total of 187 reinfections from Omicron, including 47 with BA.2 which struck shortly after a bout of the original strain.

Reinfection was most prevalent in younger and unvaccinated individuals, and symptoms reported were mostly mild.

While the variant may be more infectious, however, there is no evidence it causes severe illness, reports Reuters. The study authors noted that while reinfections can occur, they remain rare.

How to avoid infection from Stealth OmicronResearch has consistently shown that a booster vaccine offers the best protection against the novel Omicron variant.

Laboratory findings from the National Institute for Health Research have shown a third dose of the vaccine is necessary to raise antibody levels high enough to neutralise the strain.

The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) has shown two shots of the vaccine offer 13 percent protection against symptomatic illness from BA.2.

The health body, however, states that this protection increases to 70 percent from the two weeks following a booster vaccine.

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