COVID-19 FLiRT Cases Rising In India: Expert Shares Tips To Protect Yourself

COVID-19 FLiRT cases are rising in India. Currently, there are over 200 cases reported of this new KP.2 variant and is dominant in Maharashtra and Kerala. We got in touch with a health expert who shares tips on how to keep yourself safe from this variant. Read on to know more.
COVID-19 FLiRT Cases Rising In India: Expert Shares Tips To Protect Yourself

COVID-19 FLiRT Cases Rising In India: Expert Shares Tips To Protect Yourself (Image Credits: iStock)

India is witnessing a rise in the new COVID-19 variant, FLiRT. India has reported 250 COVID-19 cases until now and most of the cases are being attributed to KP.2 and KP1.1, which are the sub-variants of the Omicron JN.1. As per reports, the first such cases were identified in January and by April, the variant was already a dominant strain in Maharashtra. Cases have been reported in Pune, Thane, Amravati, Aurangabad, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Latur and Sanglione. According to experts, FLiRT variants can evade immunity from vaccines and are much stronger than the previous variants.
What Is KP.2 Variant?
As per health experts, KP.2 is a descendant of the JN.1 variant of the virus, and a sub-variant of the Omicron lineage with a lot of mutations. The name FLiRT is based on the letters representing two immune escape mutations that allow the virus to evade antibodies.
Scientists say these two mutations are on the rise. These mutations also allow the virus to escape antibodies. The data uploaded by India to Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data or GSAID - the world’s largest repository of sequences say over the last two months KP.2 sequences made up 29 percent of COVID-19 sequences.
However, JN.1 continues to be the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country. There were 679 active cases of COVID-19 in India on May 14, according to Union Health Ministry data, and one death – in Delhi, attributed to the disease.
Tips To Protect Yourself From The Deadly KP.2 Covid-19 Variant
We got in touch with Dr Manisha Mendiratta, Associate Director & Head - Pulmonology, Sarvodaya Hospital, Faridabad shares tips to protect yourself from the deadly Covid-19 variant.
“Covid cases are on the rise with a new variant - KP.2. Until now, most cases of this variant have been reported in Maharashtra and Kerala,” she said.
Dr Manisha Mendiratta shares that mild symptoms have been reported including:
Sore throat,
Body ache, and
Fever.
“Hardly any cases detected with pneumonia or fall in the oxygen level. The morbidity and mortality is very less, and hence we are not suspecting another wave as patients are improving,” she said.
Dr Manisha Mendiratta explains that it is essential to take precautions to control the further spread of the virus, which includes:
Masking,
Hand hygiene, and
Avoiding crowded places.
“Pregnant females, children and people above 60 years of age are the vulnerable groups, hence they need to be extra cautious,” she mentioned.
“The vaccines are still underdeveloped. As per scientists KP.2 variant is similar to the omicron variant, hence we assume that the vaccinations should be effective against these viruses. Although it is high time that we take another shot of the vaccine, it is still under study and we will be coming up with the type of the vaccination and the booster doses which are recommended,” Dr Manisha said.
“Since this new variant is more dominant in Maharashtra and Kerala, if avoidable we should not visit these cities, in case it is unavoidable, we should follow proper precautions by wearing masks and hand hygiene. In case of mild symptoms we should isolate ourselves and behave like responsible individuals,” she further added.
End of Article
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