New variant of COVID-19 Emerge in US: FLiRT

New variant of COVID-19 Emerge in US: FLiRT

New variant of COVID-19 Emerge in US: FLiRT

7th May 2024- A new family of COVID-19 variants, known as FLiRT (Flu-like Respiratory Tract), is rapidly spreading in the United States, raising concerns about the potential for a new wave of infections. While the COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing since December 2019, the emergence of FLiRT adds a new dimension to the ongoing battle against the virus.

FLiRT variants belong to the Omicron JN.1 lineage and are characterized by mutations such as KP.2 and KP 1.1, which are believed to be more infectious than previous Omicron variants. According to the Infectious Diseases Society Of America (IDSA), the proportion of illnesses caused by KP.2 is on the rise, indicating the rapid spread of this particular variant. The KP 1.1 mutation is also circulating in the US, further complicating efforts to contain the virus.

The symptoms of this new variant include sore throat, cough, congestion, fatigue, headache, body pain, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, and possible loss of taste and smell. However, it’s important to note that FLiRT variants have not yet been detected in India. In the US, there have been no significant reports of a rise in hospitalizations associated with these variants.

The current spread of FLiRT variants in the US has sparked concerns about the potential for a new wave of infections, particularly as the country enters the summer months. Unvaccinated individuals and those with compromised immunity are at increased risk of contracting the virus and experiencing severe illness as a result of these mutations.

As FLiRT continues to spread, individuals must remain vigilant and adhere to public health guidelines, including getting vaccinated, wearing masks in crowded settings, practising good hand hygiene, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals. While the emergence of FLiRT is cause for concern, it’s important not to panic, but rather to stay informed and take appropriate precautions to protect oneself and others from COVID-19. 

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