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New FLiRT Covid variant spreading across the UK as doctors issue summer warning

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New variants of Covid have started to spread in the UK. If you’ve recently been suffering from a nagging cough or a sore throat that won’t go away, you may have caught one of these new Covid strains called N FLiRT and LB.1.

Many of us know a friend or family member who has been down with nasty cold symptoms in the past few weeks, and rumors of a resurgence of Covid have started to circulate.

“Increased travel and large events such as festivals often lead to crowded settings where the virus can spread more easily, and there are no longer legal restrictions such as wearing masks or social distancing,” says Dr Mariyam Malik, NHS GP and private GP at Pall Mall Medical.

Some health experts have also suggested that FLiRT and LB.1 may evade immunity, which is why vaccinated people are still getting sick.

“The FLiRT variant has specific changes in its spike protein that may allow it to spread more easily and evade immunity from previous infections or vaccines,” says Dr. Malik. “Similarly, the LB.1 variant has mutations that help it spread and possibly weaken the protection we get from previous immunity, making these variants different from earlier versions of the virus.”

“New variants emerge because the virus naturally evolves over time,” the GP adds. “When many people are infected, the virus has a greater chance of mutating. Also, our immune responses from past infections or vaccines can cause the virus to evolve.”

What are the symptoms of the new Covid variants FLiRT and LB.1?

If you’ve recently been suffering from a nagging cough or a sore throat that won’t go away, you may have caught one of these new strains of Covid.

“The symptoms of the FLiRT and LB.1 variants are generally similar to previous strains of COVID-19,” says Dr. Malik. “Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle or body aches, shortness of breath, headache, and runny nose.”

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“People infected with the FLiRT and LB.1 variants typically test positive on standard PCR tests,” adds Dr. Malik. “Rapid antigen tests, also called lateral flow tests, can also detect these variants, although their sensitivity may vary.”

How long does the new Covid variant last?

The variant will last the same duration as the previous variants.

Doctors generally recommend self-isolation and use over-the-counter treatments if you have these symptoms.

“It’s best to isolate yourself, rest and stay hydrated,” advises Dr Malik. “Use over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, and monitor your symptoms closely, seeking medical help if they worsen.”

How can I prevent my family from contracting the new variants?

“To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is essential to stay up to date with your vaccinations and boosters,” says Dr. Malik. “Regular hand washing helps prevent the spread of the virus.”

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“Regular testing and isolation if symptoms develop or a positive test result can also help control the spread of the virus,” the GP adds.

When should I see my GP?

“For mild symptoms, rest and home care are usually sufficient, and it is not usually necessary to see a GP,” says Dr Malik. “However, it is essential to see a doctor if you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or persistent high fever.”

“People with underlying health conditions should contact their GP if they test positive or develop symptoms, as they may be at higher risk of serious illness.”

News Source : www.independent.co.uk
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