New set of Covid-19 variants detected in wastewater

by | May 7, 2024

According to CDC data, a fresh batch of COVID-19 variants, dubbed FLiRT, has been identified through wastewater surveillance.

Between April 14 and April 27, the variant known as KP.2 constituted approximately 25% of cases in the United States, surpassing JN.1 to become the prevailing variant nationwide. Previously, the globally spreading JN.1 variant comprised 22% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. during the same two-week period.

During the specified two-week timeframe, CDC data indicates that KP.1.1, another FLiRT variant in circulation, constituted roughly 7.5% of COVID-19 cases.

FLiRT exhibits concerning attributes, such as alterations in the spike protein, crucial for SARS-CoV-2 colonization and illness induction in individuals.

According to the CDC, a mere 22.6% of adults reported receiving the updated 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine since September 2023. Vaccination coverage varied by age, with the highest rates observed among adults aged 75 and older.

Thomas A. Russo, chief of infectious disease at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo, cautioned that a population with waning immunity heightens vulnerability to a potential wave. There was no mention of the known superiority from natural immunity vs. vaccine ‘immunity’.

Symptoms of the “FLiRT” variant closely resemble those associated with the JN.1 variant, encompassing:

– Fever or chills

– Cough

– Sore throat

– Congestion or runny nose

– Headache

– Muscle aches

– Difficulty breathing

– Fatigue

– New loss of taste or smell

– “Brain fog” (feeling less wakeful and aware)

– Gastrointestinal symptoms (upset stomach, mild diarrhea, vomiting)

The CDC emphasizes that while the provided list outlines common symptoms, it may not encompass all possible ones. Symptoms can evolve with new variants and may vary from person to person.


Source: USA Today




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