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What are the symptoms of FLiRT, the new coronavirus variant that has just arrived in Spain?

What are the symptoms of FLiRT, the new coronavirus variant that has just arrived in Spain?

The first cases of this contagious mutation, now dominant in the USA and UK, have been detected in the Basque Country and Catalonia

Marta Palacios


Friday, 31 May 2024, 14:03


The world first became aware of Sars-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, after a massive outbreak in Wuhan city in China in late 2019. This was followed by several years of global concerns due to the virus being highly contagious and deadly.

Today, the disease has become flu-like in nature and the danger level has dropped to the point where severe cases are virtually non-existent worldwide. However, we cannot wash our hands of this group of viruses yet as Covid-19 continues to evolve and with that comes new variants.

The latest one has caught the attention of scientists because of its rapid spread, although it has not yet been proven to be more serious. It has been christened FLiRT (KP.2) and, while it has become the dominant strain in both the United States and the United Kingdom, the first cases have only just now been recorded in Spain (Catalonia and the Basque Country).

Experts believe it is still too early to tell whether this new variant, which has also emerged from the Omicron sub-group, will have the potential to impact public health seriously considering that the vast majority of the population is now vaccinated, among other factors.

Infections in the USA

The first official body to report the existence of this strain of the virus was the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) that, in recent weeks, has reported a new set of variants detected through surveillance of sewage across the country.

As indicated by the CDC, this variant has accounted for 28.2% of cases in the US between 28 April and 5 May (24.9% in the week of 14-27 April), making it the dominant strain in the country, surpassing JN.1 (currently standing at 22%).


So far, based on the reported cases of this virus, the symptoms appear to be very similar to those reported with other covid variants. Those affected have common signs such as fever, cough, congestion and runny nose. In addition, there have been cases of sore throat, headache, muscle pain and chills.

Other symptoms can include vomiting, loss of taste and smell and diarrhoea.

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