BA.2 omicron subvariant: Are my symptoms COVID or allergies?

The number of positive COVID-19 cases is nowhere near what it was during the peak of the omicron variant over the winter, but symptoms from the highly transmissible BA.2 subvariant of the omicron variant are starting to appear.

BA.2, also referred to as the stealth omicron subvariant, is emerging as potentially the next dominant strain in the US

Experts say the symptoms of the BA.2 subvariant of omicron look a lot like spring allergies.

Here is what you need to know.

Are my symptoms the BA.2 subvariant of omicron or allergies?

Dr. Celine Gounder, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, told CBS News you cannot tell the difference between the BA.2 subvariant of omicron’s symptoms and seasonal allergies.

The only way to know would be to take a COVID-19 test, Gounder said.

Specific symptoms such as a cough, stuffy nose, or even the sniffles could be any of COVID-19, seasonal allergies, or the flu, Gounder said.

How do the symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies compare?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared a chart that explained how to tell the difference between general COVID-19 symptoms and seasonal allergies.

The following symptoms are symptoms of COVID-19, according to the CDC chart:

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Body ache.
  • Headaches.
  • Tiredness.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sore throat.
  • Sneezing.
  • Itchy or watery eyes.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.

The following symptoms are linked to seasonal allergies, according to the CDC:

  • Cough.
  • Headaches.
  • Tiredness.
  • Sore throat.
  • Sneezing.
  • Itchy or watery eyes.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.

Related stories about the omicron variant and COVID-19:

How to get 4 more at-home COVID tests for free

‘Deltacro’ variant of COVID: Where is it? Do vaccines work? What is known so far

How to get a COVID booster shot at CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid

Omicron subvariant BA.2: The new symptoms to look out for

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