Everything you need to learn about the new covid-19 variant, stealth omicron

stealth omicron

Stealth Omicron — it is a sub-variant of Omicron – it is detected in 83 countries around the globe as of now – it causes fever, extreme fatigue, appetite and chest pain, swollen glands, sore eyes, altered sense, cough, sore throat, muscular fatigue, elevated heart rate, and much more! Are you tired of hearing about this endless saga of the COVID-19 variant and sub-variants? Or are you wanting to know more about this mutated version? Here’s yet another informative blog post from JP Medicals Recruitment. We have discussed everything about this mutated version of the Covid Variant, BA.2 in the ensuing sections.

What is Stealth Omicron?

The newer subvariant of the original Omicron version BA.1 is now termed as the Stealth Omicron or BA.2. It is referred to as “Stealth” because while it appears +ve on a PCR test, it isn’t instantly detectable as the Omicron variant.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), this subvariant differs from its predecessor in its mutations, including the spike protein. Similar to the COVID-19 vaccine and its other variants, even Stealth Omicron can mutate and multiply when it infects new persons profusely.

According to trusted sources, the subvariant could be 1.5 times more dreadful than its predecessor, even though there has been no special level of risk in hospitalization.

The global spread of Stealth Omicron

It is ambiguous where exactly the BA.2 version originated, but it was first witnessed in the viral genome sequence uploaded to the GISAID database in the Philippines. And as of February 2022, the spread is around 80 countries with the higher records in Denmark, followed by India, Sweden, and Singapore. 

The truth behind the Stealth Omicron is, even though it is being investigated, it is not a designated variant of curiosity in terms of showing evidence of causing more severity, of being more contagious, or being less sensitive to vaccines, public health measures, therapeutics, or diagnostic tests.

How is Stealth Omicron different from the original Omicron?

The first reason that makes stealth omicron different from its predecessors is clear from the research conducted by WHO (World Health Organization). The study after monitoring several Omicron variants and subvariants including BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3 has named the subvariant BA.2 to be the ‘stealth’ omicron as its genetic mutations make it difficult to distinguish from the delta variant in PCR tests.

The second reason is, the research again proves that the Omicron subvariant BA.2 is 1.5 times more contagious than its original. This could be due to its 28 unique mutations. 

Is the Stealth Omicron more dangerous?

Though the news about stealth omicron being more contagious has intimidated the common crowd, it is not proven to be more harmful than the actual Omicron variant. At this early stage, there are no major data available to prove the point. But there is this general understanding that it could be more contagious, especially when unvaccinated.

The common symptoms of Stealth Omicron

Symptoms of Stealth Omicron

It is observed that the most common symptoms that prevail in people with stealth omicron variant experience early warning symptoms of fatigue and dizziness. Though these are common everyday symptoms, if they exist for a long period of time, they need monitoring and diagnosis.

Some other symptoms besides these include fever, sore throat, cough, headache, a boost in heart rate, muscle fatigue. If any of these symptoms prolong for more than a few days, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Included in the list are body ache, running nose, loose motions, headache too. It is necessary to be keen about vomiting, diarrhea, fever, heartburn, abdominal pain, and bloating as they are suggestive of the BA.2 variant.

Measures to stay protected from stealth omicron

Having figured out the BA.2 variant is more transmissible than the BA.1 variant, there is no sufficient evidence to prove its tendency to evade vaccine protection. But booster shots have fairly shown protection against hospitalization and severe infection. 

Therefore to stay protected against Covid-19 and its subvariants, the CDC recommends the following precautions;

  • Take Covid-19 vaccine or booster jabs
  • Wear a mask
  • Continue to maintain social distancing
  • Avoid poorly ventilates spaces and crowds
  • Wash hands often with soap and uses hand sanitizer often

What’s so strange and surprising about the omicron variants?

Scientists suggest that omicron and its subvariants may have derived from an animal host. Some others point to this to be rare recombination of two versions, leading to pathogens swapping parts and producing an entirely unique variant. It could also be a result of infected persons who found it challenging to fight off the virus quickly, thereby giving it an especially long-term to replicate, multiply, and mutate against the immune system.

Trying to investigate how these variants keep coming up could help avert future challenges. The hike in BA.2 is yet another warning sign of why we more precautions against the Covid-19, even when cases are dwindling. Or else, the twists will keep perpetuating.

The bottom line

The underlying message remains the same, irrespective of whatever variants are studied. Boosters and vaccinations can help avert the situation and help stay protected. Watch yourself closely for any symptoms and consider discussing with your doctor to gain more knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

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