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Symptoms, vaccine information and more – NBC Chicago

Multiple mutations of the omicron variant of COVID-19 are making their way to the United States, but what do we know about these new strains?

Currently, the dominant strain in the United States is the EG.5 subvariant, responsible for nearly 21% of new cases in recent weeks, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another omicron derivative, known as FL 1.5.1, is also growing rapidly, accounting for 13.3% of new cases, nearly double what it was responsible for a week ago.

Here’s what we currently know about EG.5 and FL 1.5.1.

Both subvariants are descendants of XBB, with a mutation that helps them spread faster than other variants, officials told CBS News.

This development is in line with previous versions of the virus, which typically race to find new ways to circumvent immunity acquired through vaccines or past infections, CDC officials say.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of EG.5 are almost identical to those of previous omicron strains, according to the CDC.

These symptoms usually mirror those of a cold or the flu and include cough, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, fatigue and fever. Loss of taste or smell may also occur, but is not as prevalent as earlier strains.

Although most infections usually stay in the upper respiratory tract, they can also affect deeper areas of the body, especially in people with weakened immune systems. These cases tend to be more serious and may require additional treatment.

Are there fears that they cause more serious illnesses?

The WHO, which has declared EG.5 an “interesting variant,” says it has not observed any increase in disease severity with the new subvariant so far.

Hospitalizations have begun to rise, however, with more cases reported in the United States as summer winds down and fall begins. This is also happening in Illinois, where there has been “increasing COVID activity” in recent weeks, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Will the new COVID vaccines be effective against these variants?

According to the CDC, the vaccines still have some effectiveness against the new strains, but a new version of the formula will soon be rolled out in the United States.

The new vaccine doses are expected to be available sometime in September, with the FDA meeting next month to give its approval to the new monovalent treatments.

According to studies conducted by Moderna, the new formulation is effective against the new omicron subvariants, as it was designed to target XBB 1.5, which followed the devastating BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants that ravaged the states. United last year.

NBC Chicago

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