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New Omicron Subvariants: FLiRT Raises Concerns (But Not Panic)

Omicron Subvariant Flirt

Staying Informed About COVID-19 Variants

The COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, with new variants emerging from time to time. Recently, two new subvariants of Omicron, dubbed "FLiRT," have caused concern due to their rapid spread in the United States and other countries. This blog post aims to provide you with the latest information on FLiRT, its symptoms, severity, and how to stay protected.

FLiRT Variants: What We Know

  • FLiRT is a nickname for two Omicron subvariants: KP.2 and KP.1.1.

  • KP.2 is currently the more prevalent variant, accounting for about 25% of new infections in the US.

  • FLiRT variants are believed to be more transmissible than previous Omicron subvariants.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified FLiRT as a "variant of interest" for close monitoring.

FLiRT Symptoms and Severity

  • The good news: FLiRT symptoms are similar to other Omicron subvariants, including:

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Fatigue

  • Nasal congestion

  • Runny nose

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Fever

  • Possible loss of taste or smell

  • While FLiRT might be more transmissible, there's no evidence it causes more severe illness compared to other Omicron strains.

Should You Be Worried about this Omicron Subvariant?

  • Experts recommend staying vigilant but avoiding unnecessary panic.

  • Vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19, including FLiRT variants.

  • Getting a booster shot can further enhance your protection.

Staying Safe in the Face of FLiRT

Here are some key steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, including FLiRT variants:

  • Practice good hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

  • Wear a mask: Consider wearing a well-fitting mask in crowded indoor settings, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are immunocompromised.

  • Maintain physical distance: Keep a safe distance from others whenever possible.

  • Stay home when sick: If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself and get tested.

  • Get vaccinated and boosted: Vaccination is crucial in preventing serious illness. Stay up-to-date with recommended booster shots.

  • Follow public health guidelines: Stay informed about local recommendations regarding ventilation, testing, and other preventive measures.

By following these steps, we can all play a role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, including FLiRT.


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