New covid variant detected in Am Samoa


American Samoa’s Health Department issued a COVID health advisory late last week, confirming the presence in the US territory of three Omicron subvariants.

“According to recent sequencing results, the Omicron subvariants BQ1.1, BQ1.1.24 and CH 1.1.3 are present in our territory,” DoH said in the advisory.

Samoa News reports DoH reminds the community that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend wearing a mask when in public, and if you are infected to isolate from others, and inform your recent contacts to get tested.

Additionally, monitor your symptoms and seek emergency care immediately if you feel severely ill.

DoH explains that a person with this virus may experience flu-like symptoms, as well as common symptoms such as having a sore throat, fever. and chills.

“Getting vaccinated or boosted can significantly decrease severe illness. Improve ventilation in your home and isolate yourself from others until you are well,” according to the advisory in which DoH reminds the public that all of its community clinics “are able to test and treat for COVID-19 if you are feeling symptomatic.”

“If you are symptomatic but tested negative initially, it is recommended to perform a second rapid antigen test 48 hours later. As of the week of January.16-22, there were 5 active COVID cases in the community,” the advisory said.