Health News

Should you be worried about the Pirola Covid variant – UKHSA issues update

GMB: Professor Susan Hopkins asked about symptoms of Covid

Health chiefs have issued an update on the latest Covid variant, as cases around the UK rise.

There were a total of 11,668 cases in England, 328 in Wales, and 1,615 in Scotland in the seven days to September 8, according to the latest government data.

Pirola first appeared in the country on August 18 in a person with no recent travel history, suggesting a degree of community transmission.

Since then, The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed 34 Pirola cases in England.

Notably, the Omicron spin-off has caused a localised outbreak at a care home in Norfolk.

READ MORE Check the number of Covid cases in your area as Eris becomes dominant variant

The UKHSA has now shared that the small number of infections caused by BA.2.86 worldwide means there’s still much unknown about the variant.

It said: “It is important to note that to date only a small number of cases have been identified across the world, and we will need more data to draw any conclusions about the effect of these mutations on transmissibility and severity of the variant.”

The health body added that its scientists are currently growing a “stock” of Pirola in “high containment facilities” so that they can begin testing.

Furthermore, the UKHSA is also working closely with vaccine developers to get samples of new vaccines to assess whether they will offer better protection against the virus.

Don’t miss…
Check the number of Covid cases in your area as Eris becomes dominant variant[MAP]
Professor warns Covid Pirola is ‘highly transmissible’ – key signs to spot[EXPERT]
Professor shares five ‘most common’ symptoms of latest Covid variants to spot[SIGNS]

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Pirola carries 30 more mutations in its spike protein compared to the previous dominant variants, which could make it more likely to evade the immunity from vaccines or previous infections. 

However, the health agency added that as data remains limited, nothing is yet certain.

What are the symptoms of Covid Pirola?

Dr Chris Papadopoulos, Principal Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Bedfordshire previously told to look out for the following “common” signs: 

  • Sore throat
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Cough (with or without phlegm)
  • Headaches.

The UKHSA added that it’s “essential” to protect vulnerable groups if you have Covid or any other respiratory infection.

It said: “The essential message for any respiratory infection is, if you’re feeling unwell and have the symptoms of a respiratory illness, or have a high temperature, you should avoid contact with vulnerable people and stay at home if possible.”

Dr Papadopoulos also recommended getting tested if you’re unsure whether you have Covid.

The UKHSA added: “As more data becomes available on this variant, we’ll have a better understanding of how it interacts with our immune systems and how to optimise our protection and as well as actions we can take to keep the most vulnerable safe and live our lives as normally as possible.”

Source: Read Full Article