Once again, the United States is amid a spike in the incidence of COVID-19 due to the effects of Omicron’s newest strain, the BA.5. As of July 12th, 80% of current COVID-19 cases were caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 variations, with the majority of infections being caused by the BA.5 variant, as reported by the White House COVID-19 Response Team.
There has been a surge in infections, and the White House’s COVID-19 Response Team said that trend would continue while we ride out the storm. The BA.5 variation may contribute to a higher infection incidence because, in addition to being more contagious, it also appears to be better at evading immunity from previous infections and immunizations.
Concerned parents may want to know the long-term effects of this recent increase in infectious diseases on their kids. Professionals aid in simplifying everything for you.
Can You Tell Me What Signs BA.5 Might Be Present?
The symptoms of BA.5 are comparable to those of COVID-19, particularly the Omicron form, which has generally produced less severe disease than previous COVID-19 variations. Individuals infected with COVID-19 may experience a unique set of signs and symptoms. Headache, body aches, especially in the back and neck, fever, and exhaustion are common complaints associated with the current circulating variations.
Doctors say the BA.5 variety causes fewer asymptomatic infections in children than other Omicron strains. This variety is associated with an increase in cases of fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, extreme tiredness, and headache. Hospitalizations for children have increased as a result of rising infection rates, but this rise has been rather modest.
Is BA.5 Poisonous to Young People?
Children typically don’t get severely ill from COVID-19, and that trend should continue with this variety. That could make it simpler to dismiss your child’s COVID-19 symptoms and avoid testing or isolating them.
Remember that most kids will have a mild case of BA.5, but when infections rise, the virus will spread to kids who are more susceptible to it, like those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health issues. Downham said the infection could be more severe for them. She expresses gratitude that vaccines have been found to prevent the worst instances in youngsters and provide vital protection throughout this wave.
Even while this strain of the virus may be able to reinfect children at a faster rate than others, the vast majority of children who become really ill and need hospital care are either at high risk or have not been vaccinated.
In what ways will BA.5 affect after-school programs, summer camps, and regular schools?
Many parents may be apprehensive about the effects of the BA.5 outbreak on their children’s participation in after-school programs, summer camps, and schools, in addition to their health. Over the past few years, many parents have had to deal with the closure of daycares and schools and apparently interminable quarantines. As a result, it has caused a lot of stress and disruption for families.
While some localized cases of mask mandates are possible in the wake of this wave, experts agree that this is highly unlikely to occur on a national basis. Predicting whether or not mask requirements will be reinstated is challenging. It would make sense to reinstate the regulations in light of the current community-wide high test positivity rates, but many people are also experiencing mask fatigue and Covid fatigue.
Each jurisdiction’s health agency will be responsible for determining its own masking requirements and suggestions.
When it comes to BA.5, how can I best safeguard my loved ones?
Maintaining up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19, as recommended by the CDC, is the greatest approach to protect yourself and your loved ones from BA.5 infection. The COVID-19 vaccinations have been shown to be effective in preventing serious COVID-19 infections in children, and they are now available for those as young as 6 months old. Booster doses are safe for children aged 5 and up five months following the end of the primary vaccination series.
Everyone should consider their individual level of risk and pay heed to public health advisories in their area. It may be prudent for those in crowded indoor environments to wear masks during periods of peak transmission. Exposure is most likely during times of peak community transmission if, for example, you go to a large indoor event. Attendees could protect themselves by using masks indoors and in crowded public spaces.
It’s obviously unsettling for parents to read news reports about a possible outbreak of COVID-19 at a time when school is out for the summer. At this point in the pandemic, we all know the common sense steps we can take to reduce exposure and protect ourselves and our families, such as staying indoors during peak transmission hours with masks.
Talk to your child’s pediatrician if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the BA.5 variant.
Meaningful articles you might like: The Facts About The Omicron Variant and it’s Impact on Pregnancy, Protecting Your Family From the Omicron Covid-19 Variant, If Pfizer’s New Omicron Booster Shot is Effective, Should I Give it to My Kid?