The Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, is the predominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States. Viruses constantly change through mutation and these mutations result in a new variants of the virus. New variants will continue to emerge, and most recently, we are seeing the emergence of the BA.5 Omicron subvariant. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Omicron and its variants, including BA.5, spread more easily than other variants. The BA.5 variant is very contagious and is contributing to increases in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.
- The BA.5 variant does not currently appear to cause more severe cases of COVID-19. There is no current evidence that it leads to a higher death rate.
- Symptoms resemble cold symptoms (sore throat, runny nose and fatigue); loss of taste or smell is less common.
- Being up to date on recommended vaccines is effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death with the new variants. Individuals who have been immunized or have been infected before and/or immunized will likely have less severe symptoms if they get reinfected.
- Variant emergences further emphasize the importance of vaccinations and boosters. Vaccinations can help stop new variants from developing
- To minimize the risk of infection, wear a mask and continue to practice social distance, particularly in crowded indoor environments.
We will provide new information about Omicron BA.5 subvariant as it becomes available. For additional details, please see the latest CDC update.
As the Omicron variants spread, EHE Health clinics have what you need—COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and boosters—to be safe. Members can receive COVID-19 testing regardless of their last appointment date.
EHE Health locations adhere to the highest safety standards. Our tested and vaccine-boosted staff are here to help you stay protected against COVID-19 now and healthier for years to come.
Convenient appointments are available now. Call 888.672.8172 to schedule