Understanding the COVID-19 Omicron Subvariant BA.4

The COVID-19 subvariant Ba.4 was first detected in South Africa and now has been found in more than a dozen countries. According to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and data from the GISAID – hCov19 Variants, this subvariant appears to be more transmissible than the Omicron variant and can impact the immunity from vaccinations or past infections.

Symptoms of the Omicron Ba. 4 Subvariant
According to the National Centre for Disease Control, an increase in COVID-19 cases because of this subvariant is unlikely. The symptoms of Omicron BA. 4 subvariant are constant with the original Omicron variant:
– Cough
– Fatigue
– Congestion
– Runny nose
– Body pains
– Weariness

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What Should You Do?
Health organizations strongly advise the public to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible and to continue to follow the health protocols.
1. Get Vaccinated
Vaccines are still the best way to protect yourself from the virus. Getting vaccinated reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 infections and can drastically lower the risk of getting hospitalized.
2. Get Tested
Like any other variant, if you are experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, immediately isolate yourself and get yourself tested. Reduce the spread of infections by following the proper health and safety guidelines.
3. Stay Safe
Just because the number of active cases in your area is decreasing does not mean that the pandemic is over. Newer subvariants like the Omicron BA.4 can still wreak havoc when you are not careful. Follow social distancing rules, wear masks whenever you go outside, and wash your hands every time you touch highly transmissible areas like countertops, money, or your phone.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. The decrease in active cases and daily infections does not mean that this health crisis is over. As we continue to face COVID-19 and its various mutations, active detection; and isolation of positive cases in our country are more imperative than ever.