COVID Variant BQ.1.1: What You Need to Know
BQ.1.1 is a new Omicron subvariant descended from Omicron BA.5. BQ.1.1, along with its sister variant BQ.1, accounts for around 62.8% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (CDC).
Are BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 More Invasive?BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 both originate from the same lineage as BA.5. But these new variants may be better at evading immunity than BA.5 due to mutations in the spike protein.
COVID-19 Omicron BQ1 Variant Symptoms
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Will Current Treatments Work Against BQ.1.1?One of the most concerning aspects of this surge that treatments like monoclonal antibodies may not stand up to the new variants. Early evidence indicates that due to mutations in the spike protein of BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, Evusheld and bebtelovimab each lose efficacy against the variants, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Other At-Home Treatments
Emergency warning signs
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish lips or face
- New confusion or inability to arouse