Scientist shares 'strange' symptom of newest Covid variant to look out for
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An immunologist has shared a symptom of a newer strain of Covid-19 and it might be responsible for stopping you getting a decent night’s sleep.
Experts have noticed that differing strains of the virus have come with additional symptoms, and it appears it’s no different for the Omicron BA.5, which is currently contributing to a fresh wave of infections across the globe.
Leading immunologist Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College Dublin has said the newer strains are slightly different as the virus has changed, and with that comes new symptoms.
Speaking on NewsTalk last month, he said: “One extra symptom from BA.5 I saw this morning is night sweats. Isn’t that strange?”
BA.5 is one of the most dominant strains of the virus currently in the UK, Europe and the US, alongside BA.4.
Professor O’Neill added: “The disease is slightly different because the virus has changed.
“There is some immunity to it – obviously with the T-cells and so on – and that mix of your immune system and the virus being slightly different might give rise to a slightly different disease – with, strangely enough, night sweats being a feature.
"But very importantly if you're vaccinated and you're boosted, it doesn't progress into severe disease."
Looking to the future, Professor O’Neill said much like flu jabs, future doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will differ depending on which is the most common variation of the virus.
It's not clear how many people who have been infected with BA.5 have experienced night sweats.
To date, the most common symptoms for vaccinated people who contract the virus are a headache, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and a persistent cough.
Previously widespread symptoms, such as loss of smell and shortness of breath, have fallen down the list.
Dr Meera Chand, the UK Health Security Agency Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections, said last month: “We continue to monitor the emergence of new variants and give them variant designations if they are sufficiently distinct to warrant separate epidemiological and laboratory assessment.
“It is not unexpected to see new lineages and continued investigation is a normal part of the surveillance of an infectious disease.
“It is important that everyone ensures that they are up to date with vaccinations offered as they remain our best form of defence against severe illness.”