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  • Writer's pictureMario Quiros

Omicron BA.2 Update

Latest recommendations for therapeutics and treatment.

Prepared by Dr. Mario Quiros. Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician

What you need to know:

  • The Omicron BA.2 variant is currently the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the United States, accounting for over 85% of new cases.

  • While BA.2 is more transmissible, symptoms are similar to the original Omicron strain that circulated over the winter. Many patients experience upper respiratory tract infection symptoms, sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and GI symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

  • We are not seeing nearly as much severe disease or pneumonia as we did with the original Covid-19 strain or the Delta variant which is great news.

  • While nowhere near the winter peak, we are seeing an increase in cases locally.

  • Most of the patients I have been seeing are either unvaccinated, received only 2 shots of the vaccine, or received a booster more than 4 months ago.

  • I have not seen many patients who had Omicron infections in December and January who are re infected.

Updates on Therapeutics and Treatment:

  • The best outpatient therapies we have currently are Bebtelovimab and Paxlovid.

  • Older Monoclonal Antibody Therapies like Regeneron and Sotrovimab do not appear to be effective in treating infections with the BA.2 variant.

  • Paxlovid is a pill developed by pfizer that can be used to tried mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms within 5 days of symptom onset.

  • Bebtelovimab is the newest Monoclonal Antibody Therapy (MAB) available and is the only MAB effective agains the BA.2 variant. This treatment is also recommended within the first 5 days of illness.

  • If you do get sick, contact your doctor to see which treatment option is right for you.

  • Paxlovid is convenient because it is a pill you can pick up at a pharmacy but is contraindicated with some chronic health conditions and also has severe drug interactions that may preclude you from being a candidate for this therapy.

  • Bebtelovimab is an IV infusion which can be done at home or in a hospital setting. We do have a limited supply for home infusions and can also coordinate this therapy at one of the hospitals Dr. Quiros is affiliated with in Miami, FL.

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