Variant BA.5 Covid: France, symptoms, duration, infection

The BA.5, a sub-variant of the Omicron variant, is prevalent in France, but its circulation declines in August. Among the clinical signs: fatigue, vomiting and sore throat. The duration of the signs can be up to 7 days. Symptoms, duration, infection, treatments… Everything about the covid BA.5 variant

The original virus of the Covid-19 disease, Sars-Cov-2, mutated several times into the variant Omicron which began to arrive at the end of 2021 in France. Now ubiquitous has this variant five subgenera which BA.5. It has been the majority in France for several weeks, reports Public Health France in his last point. That symptoms the most common are fatigue, cough, fever, headache and sore throat. Vomiting, diarrhea and night sweats It does not matter reported. This BA5 variant is “highly transferable but no more serious” recalled the chairman of the Covid Scientific Council on July 11 France Inter. The people positive and vaccinated must isolate themselves 7 days or 5 days in the case of a negative test on day n°5 and in the absence of symptoms for 48 hours on day n°5.

What is the BA.5 variant?

BA.5 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. It began to be identified in January and February 2022 i South Africa according to ECDC; the beginning of April according to Public Health France. It was sent at Portugal, leading to a new wave of Covid-19 in May that was particularly virulent for the over 80s. He is particularly watched because he has L452 mutations (as BA.4) associated with Delta’s increased transmissibility.

What are the symptoms of the BA.5 variant?

According to Santé Publique France, the most frequent clinical signs in cases of infection with the BA.4 and BA.5 variants are fatigue, cough, fever and headache. Moreover, “the probability of current anosmia [perte d’odorat] and ageusia [perte du goût]but nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also higher for BA.4/BA.5″ cases says the Board of Health. HAVEInstead of lasting an average of 4 days, they last rather 7 days or even 10 days so we pollute longerexplained Dr. Damien Mascret on June 27. A new symptom is reported by Professor Luke O’Neill of Trinity College Dublin (Ireland): night sweats :”The disease is different because the virus has changed, night sweats are a new symptom“said the immunologist on Irish radio Newstalk on July 7.

Age and symptoms of BA.4 and BA.5 cases compared to BA.1 cases per June 15 © Public Health France

How long do the symptoms of the BA5 variant last?

That the duration of clinical signs is on average 7 days for the cases BA.4 and BA.5 versus 4 days for other Omicron cases.

What is the rate for the BA.5 variant in France?

Within the Omicron variant, the gradual replacement of the BA.2 subgenus is included BA.5 continues and the last has become majority in metropolitan France since 13 June 2022. BA.5 accounted for 92% of the screens analyzed by Public Health France in the Flash survey of 11 July (compared to 3.6% for the BA.2, which it replaced). As for BA.4, it was detected in 6.2% of the sequences.

Sublineages of the Omicron variant under Flash studies July 2022
Omicron variant sub-lineages under Flash studies 18 July 2022 © Public Health France

Is the BA.5 variant more contagious?

BA5 is more contagious than BA2. Given that it is more contagious, it escapes immunity a little better after vaccination so we will probably continue to see that the resurgence of new cases in the coming weeks“, explained Yves Buisson, chairman of the Covid cell of the Academy of Medicine on Europe on 7 June. symptoms last longer (7-10 days)”so we pollute longer“explained Dr. Damien Mascret June 27. The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sublines replaced the BA.2 and resulted in a new epidemic wave in South Africa (5th wave). The same applies exclusively to BA.5 in Portugal (with a greater epidemiological impact over the 80s).

In South Africa: that BA.4 growth rate is +8% day compared to BA2; +12% for BA.5.

In Portugal:BA.5 was associated with a resumption of the epidemic, but the peak of this wave, which started at the end of April, now appears to be over. If this is confirmed, the amplitude of the wave will have been much smaller than the previous one.” informed Public Health France on June 15.

Is the BA.5 variant more dangerous?

Data accumulated in several countries did not observe an increase in severity associated with BA.4 and BA.5. A first study from South Africa comparing the risk of serious events between the Omicron BA.1 wave and the BA.4/BA.5 wave showed similar risks of hospitalization or death between waves BA.1 and BA.4/BA.5, reports Public Health France on July 6. These two Omicron waves were associated with lower risks compared to previous waves. The risk of hospitalization/death was less in previously infected cases (70% lower) or vaccinated 3 doses (83% lower) compared to uninfected/vaccinated cases. “Median length of hospitalization (for BA4 or BA5 cases, editor’s note) is 5 days“indicated Public Health France on June 15.

Are vaccines effective against the BA.5 variant?

Preliminary data from Great Britain only available no significant difference in vaccine effectiveness for BA.4 and BA.5 compared to BA.2, Santé Publique France reported in the variant risk analysis on July 6. Analysis of the BA.4/BA.5 wave in South Africa observed a hospitalization rate similar to that of the BA.1 wave. “These data support a vaccine efficacy and of comparable severity for BA.4 and BA.5 compared to previous Omicron sublines” estimates Public Health France.

What treatments are effective if you are contaminated with the BA.5 variant?

that Paxlovid remains the first-line curative treatment regardless of the variant or subvariant of SARS-CoV2. “Its activity is not altered relative to BA.4 and BA.5 compared to the BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants” confirms the Directorate-General for Health on 11 July. This antiviral agent is administered orally. It can be prescribed by any doctor and has been available in health institutions and public pharmacies since February 2, 2022. In case of contraindications to Paxlovid (especially related to drug interactions), the treatment is Good luck (tixagevimab 150 mg/cilgavimab 150 mg) is available. It is administered in healthcare facilities by the intramuscular route.

What are the differences between the BA.5 variant and the BA.2 variant?

BA.4, BA.5 spreads better than BA.2. This (BA5, editor’s note) escapes a little better from the vaccine. And it shows the evolutionary capacity of the virus, which is able to evade vaccines while increasing its transmission. But we also know that the symptoms are not more severe” said epidemiologist Anne-Claude Crémieux on June 22 on FranceInfo. “These two subgenera are quite similar to BA.2 but their Spike protein also has the mutations L452R/F486V and R493Q reversion. The BA.4 and BA.5 soon replaced the BA.2 in South Africa. BA.4 and BA.5“reported Public Health France on May 18. The mutation L452R, which was also found on the Delta variant, continues to increase in positive Covid tests in France. L’Median age of cases investigated in France is 47 years, higher than for BA.1 infection cases (35 years).


– Risk analysis of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 carried out jointly by Public Health France and CNR for respiratory infectious viruses, 6 July 2022.

– Risk analysis of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 carried out jointly by Public Health France and CNR for respiratory infectious viruses, 15 June 2022.

– Epidemiological update: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublines BA.4 and BA.5, ECDC, 13 May 2022

– Epidemiological bulletin, Public Health France

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