How do you manage Omicron BA.5 symptoms, including sore throat?

While a sore throat has always been a symptom of Covid, experts say it is becoming more common, and sometimes more severe, with BA.5 subvariable of Omicron – Currently, the Covid line predominates in the United States.

To soothe a sore throat, “the best approaches are often what grandma would advise,” says Dr. Michelle Prickett, cardiology and critical care specialist at Northwestern Medicine. She says staying hydrated is important to reduce inflammation in the throat. If you don’t want to get wet, you can substitute with a sports drink like Gatorade. Abhijit Duggal, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says people should drink 1.5 liters of water, or six to eight glasses a day.

Dr. Prickett recommends that people mix about a teaspoon of table salt in warm water and gargle with this solution every few hours. Patients can also use a local anesthetic, such as lozenges or cough drops, which can help numb the throat.

You can take over-the-counter decongestants to combat other cold-like symptoms of Covid, says Dr. Prickett.

However, you also need to support your immune system so it can get rid of the virus. People with BA.5 should avoid alcohol, which can weaken the immune system, and take care of themselves. “The real key is rest,” says Dr. Prickett.

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