BA.5 variant driving increase in COVID-19 cases

DR. JOHN GOLDMAN WITH UPMC SAYS THIS NEW STRAIN BA-5 IS JUST THE LATEST VARIATION OF COVID ONE. THAT’S HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS, BUT STILL CARRIES SIMILAR SYMPTOMS LIKE COUGHING RUNNY NOSE AND LOSS OF SMELL THE SYMPTOMS ARE BASICALLY THE SAME ON THE OTHER HAND, ESPECIALLY IN PEOPLE WHO ARE VACCINATED, ESPECIALLY WHEN PEOPLE WHO’VE HAVE THE DISEASE ALREADY. THEY CAN OFTEN HAVE IT WITH MORE MILD DISEASE WITH MILLIONS OF PENNSYLVANIA’S VACCINATED. GOLDMAN SAYS EVEN SYMPTOMS OF MINOR ILLNESS COULD MEAN YOU NEED TO ISOLATE AND GET TESTED YOU CAN HAVE COVID AND JUST HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF A RUNNY NOSE. JUST HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF A SORE THROAT. JUST HAVE SOMETHING YOU THINK IS OUT OUR ALLERGIES AND WHILE HE DOESN’T THINK IT’S QUITE A SILVER LINING GOLDMAN SAYS ONE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT HOSPITALIZATIONS HAVE REMAINED LOW. GOLDMAN SAYS THAT UNDERSCORES THE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINATION BECAUSE IT CAN PREVENT SERIOUS ILLNESS AND AS PEOPLE GET IMMUNITY IT’S HARDER AND HARDER TO SPREAD THE DISEASE. SO WHAT I EXPECT TO SEE IS A SLOW INCREASE IN THE FALL, BUT NOTHING

BA.5 variant driving increase in COVID-19 cases

The omicron variant known as BA.5 is almost 82% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. right now, and this variant is better at getting around vaccines and antibodies.Dr. John Goldman, with UPMC, said that even if you’re vaccinated and booster, you’re still more likely to get infected with this variant than others we’ve already seen.”This is a variant of a variant,” Goldman said.Goldman said this new strain is just the latest variation of COVID-19 – one that’s highly contagious but still carries similar symptoms, like coughing, runny nose, and loss of smell.”The symptoms are basically the same. On the other hand, especially in people who are vaccinated, especially in people who’ve had the disease already, they can often have it with more mild disease,” Goldman said.With millions of Pennsylvanians vaccinated, Goldman said even symptoms of minor illness could mean you need to isolate and get tested.”You can have COVID and just have a little bit of a runny nose, just have a little bit of a sore throat, just have something you think are allergies,” Goldman said.And while he doesn’t think it’s a silver lining, Goldman said one important thing to remember is that hospitalizations have remained low. He said that underscores the importance of vaccination because it can prevent serious illness.”And as people get immunity, it’s harder and harder to spread the disease. So, what I expect to see is a slow increase in the fall but nothing like what we saw the last couple of falls,” he said.

The omicron variant known as BA.5 is almost 82% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. right now, and this variant is better at getting around vaccines and antibodies.

Dr. John Goldman, with UPMC, said that even if you’re vaccinated and booster, you’re still more likely to get infected with this variant than others we’ve already seen.

“This is a variant of a variant,” Goldman said.

Goldman said this new strain is just the latest variation of COVID-19 – one that’s highly contagious but still carries similar symptoms, like coughing, runny nose, and loss of smell.

“The symptoms are basically the same. On the other hand, especially in people who are vaccinated, especially in people who’ve had the disease already, they can often have it with more mild disease,” Goldman said.

With millions of Pennsylvanians vaccinated, Goldman said even symptoms of minor illness could mean you need to isolate and get tested.

“You can have COVID and just have a little bit of a runny nose, just have a little bit of a sore throat, just have something you think are allergies,” Goldman said.

And while he doesn’t think it’s a silver lining, Goldman said one important thing to remember is that hospitalizations have remained low. He said that underscores the importance of vaccination because it can prevent serious illness.

“And as people get immunity, it’s harder and harder to spread the disease. So, what I expect to see is a slow increase in the fall but nothing like what we saw the last couple of falls,” he said.

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