COVID Antiviral Drug, BA.4 and BA.5 Symptoms – NBC Chicago

Health experts are urging people to continue to take extra precautions amid the spread of the super-contagious Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID Antiviral Paxlovid: How It Works, Its Effectiveness, Who Is Eligible And More

While the focus in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic was on developing vaccines to prevent serious illnesses and infections, companies have also been working to develop drugs that can help vulnerable populations avoid hospitalization or even death from it to avoid the virus.

The drug that has had the most success since its emergency CDC approval has been Pfizer’s Paxlovid treatment, which works in a similar way to the popular antiviral drug Tamiflu.

How does Paxlovid work? How soon do you need to take it? Who is entitled to have it prescribed anyway?

Here’s what we know about the treatment.

What is Long COVID and what are the symptoms?

For some who test positive for COVID, symptoms can last much longer as part of a condition known as “Long COVID.”

Newer variants, including the highly contagious omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which currently make up the majority of cases in the Midwest, are leading to an increase in patients with symptoms, according to Chicago’s top doctor.

Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said that while the symptoms remain similar to previous cases, there is a noticeable shift.

Read more here.

BA.4, BA.5 and more: Latest look at symptoms and what to expect

With new COVID variants and subvariants behind rising cases in Illinois and other parts of the country, many are wondering if the symptoms will change as more begin to experience them.

Currently, the highly contagious Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are responsible for most of the reported cases this summer.

Read more here.

Incubation period for COVID: how long should you quarantine with the virus?

As COVID-19 cases have continued to spread across the Chicago area in recent weeks, there may be lingering questions about quarantine time and how long patients are contagious.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 counties in Illinois are now classified at “high” community levels for COVID, including many of the counties in the greater Chicago area. Another 44 counties across the state are now rated at “intermediate community level.”

Read more here.

How long can you test positive for COVID after recovering from the virus?

Most people who contract COVID-19 are unlikely to have symptoms for two weeks at most, but could test positive months after infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months, but that doesn’t mean they’re contagious.

When it comes to testing, the PCR tests are more likely to continue picking up the virus after infection.

Read more here.

U of I researchers seek patients for ‘Long COVID’ study: Here’s who is eligible

Researchers from the University of Illinois College of Medicine are collaborating on a landmark study that will examine the causes of what is known as the “long COVID” and ways to potentially prevent and treat the disease.

According to a press release from U of I’s Peoria campus, the work will bring together scientists from the school’s Peoria and Chicago campuses, with $22 million provided by the National Institutes of Health in support of the project.

Read more here.

The two latest versions of omicron, the fastest-spreading COVID-19 subvariants to date, appear to evade protection from vaccines and previous infections more easily than any before them.

Why do new COVID variants bring more symptoms? Chicago’s Top Doc Explained

As more people become infected with the highly contagious COVID-19 subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in the United States, doctors are warning of new, additional symptoms associated with the virus.

Both BA.4 and BA.5 caused more upper respiratory, cold and flu symptoms, including fever, night sweats and sore throat, according to Chicago’s top doctor. Some patients, but not all, experience loss of taste and smell again.

Some doctors and researchers believe that because these new variants spread so quickly, they affect mucosal immunity more often than longer-lasting immunity, explained Dr. Allison Arwady of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Read more here.

What COVID variants are currently spreading in the US? Here’s what’s being tracked right now

From omicron to BA.2 to BA.5 to BA.2.75, the list of COVID variants and subvariants continues to grow, but with newer versions outperforming others, which ones are still in the US and spreading?

Here’s a list of the most common Omicron subvariants that the CDC says are currently spreading, when they arose, what threats they pose, and what those numbers mean.

First thing to do after COVID diagnosis, according to Chicago’s Top Doc

With two more contagious Omicron subvariants gaining ground in the US, you may be wondering what steps to take if you test positive for COVID-19.

With several new subvariants of Omicron proliferating, Chicago’s top doctor is offering advice to residents in the event they test positive for COVID-19.

During her weekly “Ask Arwady” session, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, her advice for residents who may test positive for COVID in the coming weeks and months, including the very first things to do after being diagnosed.

Read more here.

Latest information on Super Contagious Omicron Subvariant BA.5

A highly transmissible mutation in the Omicron-COVID variant, known as BA.5, is of global concern as it continues to gain traction in several countries, triggering new waves of cases and, in some cases, hospital admissions.

The surge in case numbers, even as readings remain uncertain due to the availability of at-home COVID tests, has prompted warnings and renewed calls for masking in some places.

So what makes the new variant particularly concerning and what should you look out for?

Here’s what we know so far.

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