2 new COVID variants called ‘FLiRT’ are spreading: What are the symptoms?

A new group of COVID variants, known as the FLiRT variants, have emerged in the United States, causing concern among health officials. Specifically, two variants, KP.2 and KP.1.1, are currently the dominant strains in the country, with KP.2 accounting for approximately 25% of current infections.

These FLiRT variants are highly transmissible and may only offer partial protection against vaccines and immunity from previous infections. The symptoms associated with these new variants are similar to those caused by the JN.1 strain, including sore throat, cough, fatigue, congestion, and fever or chills.

Patients infected with the FLiRT variants have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, typically appearing within 2-14 days after exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has emphasized that viruses constantly mutate, leading to the emergence of new variants that may be more contagious or resistant to treatments and vaccines.

As the FLiRT variants continue to spread throughout the U.S., health officials are urging the public to remain vigilant and continue following recommended safety measures, such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and getting vaccinated. Stay informed and stay safe as we navigate this ever-evolving situation with COVID-19.

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