BA.5 Resources and Information

Lets Talk About Omicron BA.5 [Rectangle]

Project N95 is dedicated to providing useful information and resources regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has fractured into a number of variants and subvariants, each with unique characteristics.

Omicron Subvariant BA.5

The first new variant, Alpha, emerged in early 2021, followed by the Delta variant in summer that same year. By the end of 2021 and into 2022, the Omicron variant became the dominant strain circulating throughout the United States.

Learn More About BA.5

See these helpful resources for more imformation about the COVID-19 Omicron Subvariant BA.5.

  • CDC Unpacking Variants CDC primer on COVID-19 variants, including backround on earliest variants and including the latest variants and Omicron sublineages or subvariants.
  • Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know CDC has been collaborating with global public health and industry partners to learn about Omicron, and this page details the latest information about its spread, symptoms, severe illness presentation, and other characteristics.
VOX:  BA.5 doesn’t care that you just had Covid-19 [Image]

BA.5 doesn’t care that you just had COVID-19

Vox By Umair Irfan July 18, 2022

The pattern has become all too familiar: A new version of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerges and begins to dominate new COVID-19 cases, until it’s replaced by an even more contagious version of the virus.

This year, subvariants of the omicron variant of the virus have ruled cases in the US. The BA.1 subvariant started the omicron wave. Then in April, BA.2 formed the majority of cases. By May, BA.2.12.1 took over. Now BA.5 is in the lead, triggering a rise in hospitalizations across the country. It may be the most contagious version of the virus to date. ... Omicron showed that it was adept at causing reinfections among people who were previously exposed to COVID-19. BA.5 appears to have an especially potent mix of mutations that evade protection from the immune system.

The good news is that COVID-19 vaccines still provide good protection against severe illness caused by BA.5 and are keeping death rates down. But because BA.5 spreads so readily, the small fraction of people getting seriously sick is adding up, an especially frustrating development for everyone who has been diligent about getting vaccinated, masking, and social distancing.

CNET - What to Know About BA.5 Image

What to Know About BA.5

CNET By Jessica Rendall July 18, 2022

While the current seven-day average of new hospitalizations is rising slightly week over week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, the rate has doubled compared with early May.

At the meeting, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president's chief medical adviser, explained how the virus that causes COVID-19 keeps mutating, and the virus "essentially bumped one variant off the table after the other," which has led to a long parade of increasingly contagious subvariants of omicron. The mutation that's now responsible for the majority of COVID-19 cases is BA.5, an extremely contagious version of omicron.

Though the newest subvariant "substantially" evades antibodies from prior infections and vaccines, Fauci said, being up-to-date with a booster (or two boosters, if you're 50 or older) is still protective against severe disease and death. That's because research shows that BA.5 doesn't lessen the protection against severe disease compared with earlier versions of omicron. And while not much is known about its clinical severity compared with earlier subvariants of omicron, it doesn't appear to be causing more severe disease, Response Team officials said.

Eric Topol Substack BA.5 Visual

Eric Topol: The BA.5 story

Substack By Dr. Eric Topol June 27, 2022

The Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen. It takes immune escape, already extensive, to the next level, and, as a function of that, enhanced transmissibility, well beyond Omicron (BA.1) and other Omicron family variants that we’ve seen (including BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4). You could say it’s not so bad because there hasn’t been a marked rise in hospitalizations and deaths as we saw with Omicron, but that’s only because we had such a striking adverse impact from Omicron, for which there is at least some cross-immunity (BA.1 to BA.5). Here I will review (1) what we know about its biology; (2) its current status around the world; and (3) the ways we can defend against it.