• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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FLiRT Covid variant: Everything we know about new coronavirus strain spreading in America


A new Covid-19 variant is thought to be behind a rise in the number of cases in US, and the strain could be established further afield.
UKSHA data has shown there has been a reported 15.7 per cent rise in all cases of the virus from month to month.

And al.com has stated that this new strain now accounts for 25 per cent of all positive tests in the US.

A spokesman for the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning call and said: “Viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus.

“Some changes and mutations allow the virus to spread more easily or make it resistant to treatments or vaccines. As the virus spreads, it may change and become harder to stop.”
Here is what we know so far about this new variant.

What is the new variant?

The new variant has been called FLiRT after the technical name for its mutation.
FLiRT is the strain that is behind the KP.2 and KP.1.1 variants.

Dr Thomas Russo of the University of Buffalo told Prevention: “These are part of the Omicron family. They’re like siblings.”

Other than the fact that it’s now accounting for one quarter of all US cases, there is not much more known about the new strain.

Has FLiRT been found in the UK?
The UKHSA has not commented on FLiRT but the rising cases in Britain could suggest that it is the new dominant variant, according to the i.

And data from Cov Spectrum indicates that the combination of KP.2 and KP.1.1 accounts for 40 per cent of cases in the UK.

What are the symptoms of FLiRT covid?
There is nothing, Dr William Schaffner told Prevention, to distinguish symptoms of FLiRT from regular covid.

Patients do not generally find out what variant they have of the virus.

What are common covid symptoms generally?

There are many symptoms, but according to the NHS, the most common are:
a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste shortness of breath feeling tired or exhausted an aching body a headache a sore throat a blocked or runny nose loss of appetite diarrhoea feeling sick or being sick.

How long does long covid last?
Most people with Covid-19 feel better within a few days or weeks of their first symptoms and make a full recovery within 12 weeks, the NHS states.

Effects can last longer, however, with longer symptoms typically including fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and joint ache or pins and needles.The length someone typically suffers with long covid is not known due to the recency of the virus. According to News Medical Life Sciences, however, the symptoms do improve after two years.