'Good news': Potential BA.2 variant case increase would be less severe than other Covid surges, doctor says

While BA.2 is more transmittable than other omicron variants, a COVID-19 surge as severe as previous surges is not expected, according to a doctor at Henry Ford.

"I do think it’s possible we’re going to have an increased number of cases," said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, the medical director of Infection Control and Prevention with the Henry Ford Health System. "I do not expect this to be like any of the other surges we’ve been through."

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Compared to other variants of Covid, Cunningham said loss of taste and smell doesn't appear to be as common with omicron, including BA.2. Instead, the symptoms tend to resemble a bad cold.

He said he believes another increase in cases would include people who have mild or no symptoms.

Cunningham said the BA.2 variant is accounting for about 20-30% of all Covid cases at Henry Ford, but hospitalizations are down.

"Our total hospitalization numbers are looking quite good," he said.

He said there are about 30 people hospitalized with the virus, compared to close to 500 people during the last surge.

Cunningham called the current numbers "good news."

However, the future depends on additional variants of the virus.

"There’s no guarantee that the next variant can’t cause more severe disease," he said.