Covid-19: symptoms linked to the BA.5 sub-variant are stronger and more frequent

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The number of Covid-19 cases is increasing sharply in France. The progressing Omicron BA.5 subvariant appears to cause symptoms more and for longer than with BA.1. But which ones? We take stock.

A net epidemic rebound of Covid-19 has been observed in France for several weeks. As of June 22, in 24 hours, nearly 78,000 new cases have been confirmed. A return of which the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron, now in the majority, are at the origin. “In France, we are seeing a gradual replacement of BA.2 by BA.5”, explained, on June 15, Public Health France in its risk analysis related to emerging variants.

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Sub-variants with which you have a better “chance” of reporting symptoms. Of “more than 300 confirmed or possible cases” (301) of BA.4 and BA.5, only 3% of cases were asymptomatic, reports Public Health France (SPF), which also specifies the most frequently observed symptoms:

  • Fatigue: 75.7% of cases investigated.
  • Cough and fever: 58.3%
  • Headaches: 52.1%
  • Runny nose: 50.7%

Fatigue, cough and fever are the most frequent symptoms observed in cases of BA.4 and BA.5.
Public health France

The investigations showed that “the probability of presenting anosmia and ageusia (Editor’s note: loss of smell and taste), but also nausea, vomiting and diarrhea was higher for the cases of BA.4 and BA.5 compared to those of BA.1 “, also specifies SPF.

Symptoms that seem to be felt longer with a median duration of 7 days, compared to 4 days with BA.1. But the hospitalization rate is not necessarily “significantly higher”.

According to Jacques Battistoni, president of the union of general practitioners MG France quoted by The Parisian, the symptoms of his patients affected by BA.4 and especially BA.5 are “more marked” with “quite intense and prolonged fevers”. “We wonder about the severity of this new variant, even in vaccinated people,” he explains to our colleagues.

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