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Montevideo, July 25th 2024 - 15:13 UTC



New variants of Covid-19 spreading rapidly worldwide

Monday, July 8th 2024 - 07:15 UTC
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Experts fear an increase in contagions during the Paris Olympic Games later this month Experts fear an increase in contagions during the Paris Olympic Games later this month

Ecuadorean health authorities have reported that the new FLiRT (KP.2) variant of Covid-19 had reached the country after two individuals -a 24-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman- tested positive in the Cotopaxi province. Both patients were vaccinated, the Health Ministry also noted. Local experts recalled that although not lethal, FLiRT was highly contagious, and therefore insisted on the importance of personal hygiene.

FLiRT can cause fever, muscle pain, headache, chills, respiratory problems, loss of smell or taste and gastrointestinal symptoms, Ecuador's Health Ministry also warned. Last June, the Medical Federation of Ecuador expressed concern about the increase in respiratory diseases such as influenza, Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus. According to the guild, in private consultations last April, two out of 10 people tested positive for respiratory diseases, this figure growing to five out of 10 infected with a respiratory virus by this time of the year.

Meanwhile, in the United States, authorities said that the KP.3 subtype remained the dominant version with 36.9% of the cases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), followed by KP.2 with 24.4%. In addition, the new variant LB.1 accounted for 14.5% of cases while the once terryfying JN.1 represented just 1% of infections. KP.2 and KP.3 are subtypes of JN.1, all of them stemming from Omicron.

“KP.3 is projected to continue increasing as proportions of the variants that cause COVID-19,” CDC Spokesperson Rosa Norman was quoted as saying. The CDC also said that Covid-19 infections were growing in 39 states, and stable or uncertain in 10 others.

This variant has also been said to be behind a spike in infections in Spain in recent weeks, as the malady's incidence rate went up during the week of June 17-23 to 151 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared from 136.9 cases the previous week, according to the National Epidemiology Center.

Experts also fear an increase in contagions during the Paris Olympic Games beginning later this month.

Reports from El Salvador mention that Covid-19 was making a rentrée as people and healthcare professionals were more focused on dengue. Some people with comorbidities required hospitalization. Most patients were also found to have a recent travel history.

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