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Covid -19 new variant FLiRT spreading rapidly in US; are you protected? Check symptoms

This sudden emergence has raised questions about the efficacy of current Covid-19 vaccines against the FLiRT variant

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- May 08th 2024 04:56 PM
Covid -19 new variant FLiRT spreading rapidly in US; are you protected? Check symptoms

Covid -19 new variant FLiRT spreading rapidly in US; are you protected? Check symptoms

Covid-19 new variant FLiRT: As the world grapples with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the emergence of a new variant, FLiRT, in US has sparked concerns among health experts worldwide. 

The FLiRT variant, a group of new Covid -19 variants belonging to Omicron's JN.1 lineage, is swiftly replacing the previous variant, Eris, in various countries, including the USA, UK, New Zealand and South Korea. This sudden emergence has raised questions about the efficacy of current Covid-19 vaccines against the FLiRT variant.



FLiRT Variant: What You Need to Know

FLiRT, named after the technical mutations of the coronavirus, presents a significant challenge due to its rapid spread. Within this group of variants, particular attention is drawn to KP.2, which accounts for approximately 25% of new sequenced cases in the US. Despite its prevalence, the variant has yet to become widespread across the country.

The Threat of FLiRT Variant

Health experts are still investigating the FLiRT variant to determine its level of contagion and lethality compared to previous strains. While concrete data on its severity is still emerging, concerns have been raised regarding changes in the spike protein, a crucial element facilitating the virus's ability to infect and cause illness. With only 22% of American adults fully vaccinated against Covid-19, many individuals remain vulnerable to reinfection, amplifying the potential impact of the FLiRT variant.

Symptoms of FLiRT Variant

Similar to previous Covid-19 variants, FLiRT presents a range of symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, body aches, loss of smell and taste, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cough, breathlessness, fatigue, and digestive issues. Recognising these symptoms is crucial for early detection and containment of the virus.

Vaccine Efficacy Against FLiRT Variant

Despite the emergence of FLiRT, vaccination remains a critical tool in controlling Covid-19 transmission and mitigating illness severity. While vaccines offer protection against severe illness, they do not guarantee immunity against infection. Therefore, health professionals emphasise the importance of vaccination as part of a comprehensive strategy to achieve herd immunity and curb the spread of FLiRT and other variants.

In addition to vaccination, preventive measures such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene remain essential in preventing the transmission of FLiRT and other strains of the virus. Staying informed about the latest health guidance and adhering to recommendations is crucial for protecting oneself and others from Covid-19.

- With inputs from agencies

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