Biden likely has contracted a highly contagious variant of COVID-19: Doctor

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has likely contracted a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus that is spreading rapidly across the United States, and has now had a sore body and throat since testing positive, according to an update from his doctor Saturday.

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

dr Kevin O’Connor, the president’s doctor, wrote in his latest update on Biden’s condition that Biden’s previous symptoms, including a runny nose and cough, have become “less bothersome.” O’Connor’s earlier notes made no mention of a sore throat or body aches.

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

O’Connor said the preliminary sequencing results, which suggested the BA.5 variant, “in no way affected” Biden’s treatment plan.

Biden tested positive for the virus Thursday morning. He has since isolated himself at the White House residence. Administration officials have stressed that his symptoms are mild as he received four doses of the vaccine and started taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid after becoming infected.

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

In his previous update on Biden’s health, O’Connor said the president had an elevated temperature of 99.4 F Thursday night, but it returned to normal after taking Tylenol.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Biden likely has contracted a highly contagious variant of COVID-19: Doctor

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