BA.5 poses lung risk, says doctor

The latest subvariant from the Omicron strain from the coronavirus is as harmful to the lungs since the previous Delta version although it still primarily attacks only the many vulnerable groups — the unvaccinated as well as the under-vaccinated — says an expert from Siriraj Hospital.

Among people currently receiving Covid-19 treatment, about 800 are suffering from lung infections which account for about 8% of all Covid-19 hospitalisations, says Dr Nithipat Jearakul, head of Siriraj Hospital’s Division of Respiratory Condition and Tuberculosis within the Department of Inner Medicine at the Teachers of Medicine.

The 8% represent a five-fold decrease from the lung infection rate associated with 30-40% caused by the prior Delta strain.

“However, in terms of severity, the current infections and those caused by Delta are not very different, inch Dr Nithipat stated.

The BA. 5 subvariant of Omicron is principally responsible for recent flareups, which are expected to top late this month and remain higher next month before they will begin dropping during the next school break, said Dr Yong Poovorawan, chief from the Centre of Superiority in Clinical Virology at the Department of Paediatrics of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, earlier.

Dr Nithipat said lung infections now mostly impact people in the alleged “608” group — people aged 60 years and older, individuals with underlying diseases and pregnant women — along with those who received just one or two doses of vaccine or none whatsoever.

Hardly any of those sick along with lung infections a new history of receiving booster shots, he noted.

“Acquiring sufficient booster jabs can prevent hospitalisation and death, inch Dr Nithipat stated.

In the mean time, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek stated caseloads have risen although most victims were in the “green” group with slight or mild signs and symptoms such as a fever, short-term loss of taste plus smell, sore throat, cough and runny nasal area.

People that test positive subsequent an antigen test are advised to see a physician under their particular universal health insurance programme.

Individuals not suffering from severe Covid-19 symptoms are advised to do home solitude for 10 days. When patients are in the particular 608 group, physicians will carry out the deeper examination of their particular conditions.

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) has added the telemedicine service exactly where Covid-19 sufferers in home isolation may receive remote consultations and may be distributed free medication, such as the antiviral Favipiravir, right to their homes if needed.