It's that time of year again where new Covid variants pop up and people are once again asked to follow CDC guidelines.  

The pandemic may be over, but Utah (and the rest of the U.S.) still has new variants popping up here and there. The latest Covid variants are known as FLiRT. KP 1.1, which is FLiRT variant made up about 7.5% of cases in the two-week period from April 14-27, USA Today reports.  

Most people have not received a booster shot since Sept. 2023. With only 22.6% of adults reporting an updated shot for 2023-2024, FLiRT could spread much quicker as immunity levels go down.  

Symptoms for FLiRT: 

  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • "Brain fog" (feeling less wakeful and aware) 
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (upset stomach, mild diarrhea, vomiting) 

The CDC said that there could be more or different symptoms depending on the person and the strain. Since it's rather new, it will be difficult to tell how different these new variants are.  

FLiRT has a new spike protein which officials find concerning since that is what helps Covid “colonize the body and make people sick”.  

The CDC updated its guidelines for those who are sick but as will all illnesses, stay home from work, do the proper hygiene practices, watch your indoor air quality, and stay up to date with vaccinations.  

Even though the heaviest part of the pandemic has passed, Covid is still present and always mutating. Stay vigilant and stay healthy.  

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