Omicron BA.5: Symptoms, incubation period and course - everything about the corona subtype
Created: 06/12/2022, 08:12
By: Yannick Hanke
The corona pandemic is not over, as the discovery of the omicron subtype BA.5 shows.
What are the symptoms, course and incubation period?
Berlin/Lisbon – Corona rules are falling across the board, cultural life is returning – the pandemic is far from over.
The discovery of the omicron subtype BA.5 in Portugal makes this clear.
The Corona variant is causing serious concern, World Medical Director Frank Ulrich Montgomery, he warns of a spread in Germany.
But what is already known about the Omikron BA.5?
What about vaccines, the incubation period, symptoms and the course?
Omicron BA.5: New corona subtype causes Karl Lauterbach and world medical director great concern
Montgomery looks at the omicron subvariant BA.5 with a worried expression.
It will also spread in Germany, and vaccinated people would also contract it, which could lead to increasing numbers of sick leave, which has not been possible since June 1, 2022.
But vaccinated people would at least have to contend with significantly milder symptoms.
"The smarter we behave now, the fewer drastic measures we need in autumn and winter.
Wear a mask voluntarily wherever a lot of people come together,” is the advice from the head of the World Medical Association to the “Rheinische Post”.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) takes a similar stance with regard to the omicron subvariant BA.5 discovered in Portugal.
Lauterbach, who is not least known as a warning about monkeypox, speaks of a possible corona wave next autumn.
The qualified doctor also refers to a laboratory graphic that shows the proportion of the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 “in the southern German catchment area” at around 15 percent
Omikron BA.5: How dangerous is the corona subtype - and how did it come about?
But what danger does the omicron subvariant BA.5 actually pose?
In order to get to the bottom of the matter, it is advisable to first look at the origin of the subtype.
Both BA.5 and BA.4 are omicron variants with distinct origins.
So they do not descend from BA.1, BA.2 or BA.3, but rather have the common omicron precursor, the original variant, i.e. their origin.
The omicron variants also have a mutation on the so-called spike protein, which increases their virulence, i.e. their ability to be infected.
Virologist Christian Drosten had already referred to this on Twitter.
In addition, "the new data from Portugal would show that BA.4 and BA.5 must definitely have a growth advantage over Omicron BA.1 and Omicron BA.2".
This is what virologist Christoph Steininger from Med-Uni Vienna says to the “Augsburger Allgemeine”.
Corona: 2.5 percent of infections in Germany can already be traced back to the BA.5 subtype.
© Sorapop Udomsri/imago/Sebastian Kahnert/dpaMontage
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Omicron BA.5: Is the corona subtype causing the number of cases to increase again?
The omicron subtype BA.5 can, but does not necessarily have to, lead to a drastic increase in the number of cases.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the infection pressure in Germany remains high, but the current spread of the sublines would not have an extreme impact on the numbers.
The omicron variant BA.2, which sometimes has special symptoms, is still predominant in Germany with 97.4 percent.
The RKI refers to this.
Omicron BA.5: Which symptoms indicate an infection with the corona subtype?
A new omicron subtype such as BA.5 also raises questions about associated symptoms.
For BA.1 and BA.2, the following applied and applies: the course of the disease is usually mild, severe symptoms only rarely appear here after an infection.
Appropriate vaccinations, above all the booster vaccination, naturally play a large part in this.
With these omicron variants, there is usually talk of a cold and headache, and in rare cases fever.
According to virologists, however, the newer omicron subtypes have increased coughing again, and the symptoms are similar to those of bronchitis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), specialists are currently investigating the extent to which BA.4 and BA.5 differ from the previous variants in terms of speed of spread and course of the disease.
Omikron BA.5: What is the incubation period for corona subtypes?
Since research is still intensively investigating the omicron subtype, the incubation period of BA.5 can only be speculated on.
The fact is: In a direct comparison, the incubation time for Omikron BA.1 and Omikron BA.2 can sometimes be different.
In a time spectrum of three to six days, everything is possible with the new corona variant.
From this point of view, it could theoretically take almost a week before the first symptoms appear after infection with BA.5.
Omikron BA.5: How widespread is the corona subtype in Germany?
Omikron BA.4 and BA.5 have already been detected in Germany.
In its weekly report of May 25, 2022, the RKI makes it clear how quickly the omicron subtype BA.5 in particular is spreading.
The proportion of this corona variant would have increased almost fivefold in a period of two weeks.
We are talking about 2.5 percent of corona infections in Germany in which BA.5 was detected.
Omikron BA.5: How well do the vaccines protect against the corona subtypes - and will there be new ones soon?
According to the WHO, specialists are currently also investigating the effectiveness of the current vaccines against the new omicron subtype BA.5.
At the same time, the vaccine manufacturers are working flat out on a so-called pan vaccine.
This means a vaccine that covers as many corona variants as possible - and ideally also the omicron subtype BA.5.