WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden likely contracted a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus that is spreading rapidly in the United States and is now experiencing body aches and a sore throat after testing positive, his doctor said Saturday.
The variant, 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 Biden’s previous symptoms, including a runny nose and cough, have become “less bothersome.” O’Connor’s earlier notes did not mention a sore throat or body aches.
Biden’s vital signs, including blood pressure and respiratory rate, “remain completely normal” and oxygen saturation levels are “excellent” with “no shortness of breath at all,” the doctor wrote.
O’Connor said the preliminary sequencing results showing the BA.5 variant do not affect Biden’s treatment plan “in any way.”
Biden tested positive for the virus Thursday morning. Since then he has been isolated in the White House residence. Administration officials stressed that his symptoms are mild because he has received four doses of the vaccine and started taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid after becoming infected.
During a virtual meeting with financial advisers on Friday, Biden was hoarse but insisted: “I feel a lot better than I sound.”
In his earlier update on Biden’s health, O’Connor said the president had a fever of 99.4 F Thursday night but returned to normal after taking Tylenol.
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President Joe Biden likely has contracted a highly contagious variant of COVID-19: Doctor Source link President Joe Biden likely has contracted a highly contagious variant of COVID-19: Doctor