Biden likely has highly contagious coronavirus BA.5 subvariant, doctor says

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks virtually during a meeting with his economic team in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, Friday, July 22, 2022. Biden's condition continues to improve since he tested positive for the coronavirus, and he likely contracted a highly contagious variant that has been spreading rapidly across the United States, according to an update from his doctor on Saturday, July 23.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

President Biden speaks virtually during a meeting with his economic team at the White House complex in Washington on Friday. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

President Biden probably contracted a highly contagious subvariant of the coronavirus spread rapidly across the US, and now he has body aches and a sore throat since his positive testaccording to an update from your doctor Saturday.

The subvariant, known as BA.5, is an offshoot of the Omicron strain that emerged late last year, and is believed to be responsible for the vast majority of coronavirus cases in the country.

Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician, wrote in his latest update on Biden’s condition that his previous symptoms, which include a runny nose and cough, have become “less bothersome.” O’Connor’s earlier notes did not mention sore throats or body aches.

Biden’s vital signs, such as blood pressure and respiratory rate, “remain completely normal,” and his oxygen saturation levels are “excellent” with “no shortness of breath at all,” the doctor wrote.

O’Connor said preliminary sequencing results indicating the BA.5 variant do not affect Biden’s treatment plan “in any way.”

Biden tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning. He has been isolated in the White House residence ever since. Administration officials have emphasized that his symptoms are mild because he received four doses of the vaccine and began taking antiviral medication. paxlovid after getting infected.

During a virtual meeting with economic advisers on Friday, Biden was hoarse but said, “I feel much better than I sound.”

In his earlier update on Biden’s health, O’Connor said the president had a high temperature of 99.4 degrees on Thursday night, but it returned to normal after taking Tylenol.

This story originally appeared on Los Angeles Times.

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