The BA.2.12.1 variant of COVID-19 makes up about 37% of new coronavirus cases across the country, according to the latest data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The growth of BA.2.12.1 and other variants is to be expected, health experts said.
“SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly changing and accumulating mutations in its genetic code over time. New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are expected to continue to emerge. Some variants will emerge and disappear, while others will emerge and continue to spread and may replace previous variants,” the CDC said.
BA.2.12.1 is a descendant of the BA.2 virus, a subvariant of the omicron strain of COVID. BA.2.12.1 has the ability to transmit easier than its predecessors and experts said it could become the dominant strain of COVID-19 within a few weeks.
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What are symptoms of BA.2.12.1?
Like the previous BA.2 variant, BA.2.12.1 most often presents with upper respiratory symptoms similar to that of the flu. Original COVID-19 symptoms include:
- fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
The omicron variant is most often presented with sneezing, coughing and sore throat. Additional symptoms from BA.2 include fatigue and dizziness.
.The best way to lessen the effects of COVID and its variants is vaccinations, experts said.
“Breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated are expected, but being up to date on recommended vaccines is effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters,” the CDC said.