New omicron variant cases on the rise in Alabama
The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning residents that COVID-19 cases are climbing across the U.S.
A new Omicron subvariant called BA.5 is responsible for nearly 65% of current COVID-19 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Preliminary data suggests the BA.5 subvariant is more infectious than previous subvariants, but it also appears to cause milder sickness despite an increase in hospital numbers and deaths over the past several weeks.
Anyone infected with the BA.5 subvariant is likely experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms including:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Night sweats
- Lingering cough
Some patients are reporting a new loss of taste and smell.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated. Everyone ages 12 and older should stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and get a booster shot when eligible.
Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death.
ADPH recommends wearing a well-fitted mask, especially within large indoor gathering spaces to protect against COVID-19.