Differences Between COVID 19 Variants to Be Aware Of

December 7, 2022
3 Min Read
Differences Between COVID 19 Variants to Be Aware Of

A group of viruses known as coronaviruses can make people sick with respiratory conditions. Because the virus's surface is covered in spikes that resemble crowns, they are known as "corona." Examples of coronaviruses that affect people include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory disease (MERS), and the common cold.

SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus strain, was initially discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, it has spread to every nation on earth.

Since the onset of the epidemic, several SARS-CoV-2 variations have appeared, and doctors have stressed the need of immunizing as many individuals as possible before more infectious versions of the virus may spread extensively.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID 19, mutates continuously as it spreads across the population, leading to the emergence of new forms, like other viruses. Variants have modifications (mutations) in the RNA of the virus. Although they are valuable for tracing the virus's transmission across the world's population, the majority of these variations are unimportant from a therapeutic standpoint.

The race to defeat the variations has already begun. What you need to know about COVID 19 variants are as follows:

All COVID 19 Variants Mutate

Viruses constantly adapt to live and propagate. All viruses, and all COVID 10 variants for that matter, are composed of genetic material (DNA or RNA), which is wrapped in a protein protective layer. A virus attaches itself to one of your cells after it enters your body, typically through your mouth or nose. The virus's DNA or RNA then makes its way into your cell, where it may reproduce and infect further cells. You get ill if the virus can replicate itself and take over enough of your cells without being destroyed by your immune system.

The properties of a virus change with each new mutation that takes place. Some of these alterations force the virus to cease functioning properly, causing the organisms to disappear or become less contagious. Other modifications can make the virus more transmissible, harder for human immune systems to identify, or able to escape their memory.

The CDC likens the process of mutation to a tree's branches: A new branch develops with each new mutation, enabling the virus to spread in new directions. These branches give rise to stems, or subvariants, which are new alterations introduced to the main variant's genetic structure. For instance, the omicron "parent" virus has given rise to the mutations BA.2.75 and BA.5.

How Many COVID 19 Variants Are There

The original SARS-CoV-2 virus is being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with all subvariants. Since the COVID 19 pandemic's initial detection in 2019, when the original virus was originally discovered, it has undergone several changes. The CDC has been keeping an eye on 12 variations as of July 14, 2022, including:

Delta: No longer a "variant of concern," it was previously the predominant variety in the U.K. and the U.S.

Omicron: This variation caused a worldwide rise that started in November 2021, making it a variant of concern last winter. By the middle of January, The Washington Post reported that the number of new COVID 19  cases in the U.S. was averaging over 800,000 every week. It currently accounts for more than 65% of cases in the United States.

The omicron variation is said to spread more quickly and readily than the original virus and the delta variant, and so far, that hasn't changed as it continues to mutate and produce subvariants like BA.5 and BA.2.75, according to the CDC.

The Newest BA.5 and BA.2.75 Sub Variants

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that BA.2.75 was discovered for the first time in India in early May 2022 and has since been found in more than ten more nations, including the United States.

On the other side, the CDC reports that BA.5 is currently the predominant omicron subvariant in the United States.

The symptoms are typically the same or similar, there is a caveat that each individual may experience a distinct set of symptoms.  Therefore, you may not exhibit any symptoms at all or exhibit any number of them, such as:

  • Chills or a fever.
  • Cough.
  • Respiratory problems or shortness of breath.
  • Fatigue.
  • Body or muscle pains.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of smell or taste.
  • Painful throat
  • Runny or congested nose.
  • Sickness or vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

It's crucial to pay attention to any new symptoms you develop since how one person responds to infection from BA.5 may differ greatly from how another responds.

Reduce Infection

The same procedures that have been used with every other coronavirus variation and subvariant also apply to BA.5: The most effective preventative strategies are getting vaccinated, using a mask during periods of high transmission, separating yourself from others by 6 feet, washing your hands often, and avoiding ill individuals.

Get Help Now

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization argue that further study is necessary since there are so many unanswered questions. However, you'll need answers right once if you're worried that you or a loved one has COVID. A resource is the BASS Medical Group. Doctors who are authorities in their disciplines make up their elite squad. Call right away to schedule an appointment.