FLiRT Variants Drive Up COVID Cases, ER Visits in US 

United States: Currently, owing to the growing number of COVID cases in the US, the nation is witnessing an increasing trend in terms of rising Emergency room visits and deaths from the virus. 

More about the news 

The latest data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that emergency room visits shot up greater than 23 percent, as recorded from June 16 to June 22, whereas, in recent weeks, the death count has increased by almost 15 percent, as mlive.com reported. 

The uprising of cases is attributed to the spawning of various FLiRT variants, such as KP.3, KP.2, and KP.1.1. 

According to experts, FLirt variants are descendants of omicron lineage, among which the most dominant ones presently in the US are KP.3 and KP.2 – which amount to almost half of the total current cases

FLiRT Variants Drive Up COVID Cases, ER Visits in US. Credit | Freepik
FLiRT Variants Drive Up COVID Cases, ER Visits in US. Credit | Freepik

Statement by CDC 

The agency, which confirmed that more mutations are possible, stated, “Viruses constantly change through mutation, and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus.” 

Additionally, as the CDC continued, “Some changes and mutations allow the virus to spread more easily or make it resistant to treatments or vaccines. As the virus spreads, it may change and become harder to stop,” mlive.com reported. 

Symptoms caused by FLiRT variants 

Although, as experts say, FLiRT variants do not cause many serious symptoms, there are a few common symptoms that generally appear in almost every infected person. The most common one is experiencing a sore throat. 

According to an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Andreas M. Kogelnik, MD, PhD, “Unfortunately, one of the most common COVID symptoms currently seems to be a sore throat with or without a mild fever,” as mlive.com reported. 

“I say unfortunately because—of course—a sore throat can be attributed to many different causes,” he continued. 

Additionally, there are other COVID symptoms that appear to be similar to those seen in previous variants. These include: 

  • Body aches 
  • Chills 
  • Congestion 
  • Cough 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Net loss of taste or smell 

The latest CDC guidelines recommend people isolate themselves in case of the appearance of symptoms until the symptoms start to disappear, along with curing of fever, without having taken the medicines for more than 24 hours.