“We’re starting to get anecdotal evidence of anosmia, which is a loss of smell,” said Dr. Shane Fernando.
FORT WORTH, Texas – If a lot of people you know seem to have COVID-19 for the second or third time, you’re not crazy.
If people who have been infected seem to be showing symptoms after they were asymptomatic the previous time, you are not making it up either.
“These two sub-factors are very good at infecting people,” said Dr. Shane Fernando, a clinical epidemiologist at UNT Health Sciences Center.
Dr. said. Fernando The BA.4 and BA.5 omicron sub variants are essentially similar to the children of the omicron maternal variant.
BA.5 is the main problem of the child.
“He is most responsible for the waves of COVID around the world,” said Dr. Fernando.
The BA.5 subvariant currently makes up about 80% of current COVID infections. Dr. Fernando said it spreads about 4.2 times faster than the Omicron variant and fights natural immunity from previous infections. However, he said staying up to date on vaccines and boosters is still important.
“The severity of the disease is determined by vaccination or not,” said Dr. Fernando.
There were 753 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in North Texas hospitals Thursday, said Stephen Love, president and CEO of the DFW Hospital Board. That number continues to rise, slowly but surely, he said. He said the vast majority of these patients are not immunized.
The BA.5 variant, like the omicron variant, exhibits symptoms such as congestion, sore throat, fatigue and persistent cough.
“You feel like you’re having a little allergic reaction,” Dr. Fernando said.
However, recent cases show that patients who tested positive for the BA.5 variant had ‘rebound’ symptoms.
“We’re starting to get anecdotal evidence of anosmia, which is a loss of smell,” said Dr. Fernando. “It’s something we haven’t seen in a while. It was very prevalent with the delta variant. Remember delta? It’s like it’s been forever.”
Dr. Fernando said the studies, like the alternative, are new. He said it was not clear how many patients with sub-BA.5 had lost their smell.
The CDC recently upgraded COVID-19 risk levels to “high” for Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties. This level comes with a recommendation to wear masks indoors.
Last week, Denton County was upgraded from a “low” to a “high” level.
“The thing to remember is that this virus is still there. It’s still infecting people and it’s still killing people,” Dr. Fernando said.