Covid variant Pirola spreading fast across the US as new boosters planned for this month: Coronavirus guidelines

CDC data confirms an increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations per capita

A new, fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus has had alarm bells ringing among public health experts in the United States as cases surge across the country.

Doctors warned that the BA.2.86 variant – unofficially dubbed “Pirola” – could be a cause for concern as it is a newly named, heavily mutated variant of Omicron that has been found in a number of countries, including the US. caused an increase in cases.

According to a Thursday bulletin in Yale medicineThe new variant has more than 30 mutations in its spike protein, which is found on the outer surface of a coronavirus and helps it enter and infect human cells.

“Such a high number of mutations is remarkable,” said Dr. Scott Roberts, infectious disease specialist. “When we left [Omicron variant] XBB.1.5 bis [Eris] EG.5, that was maybe a mutation or two.

“But these massive shifts that we’ve also seen from Delta to Omicron are worrying.”

A separate mini-wave of Covid cases is being fueled by the latest dominant variant EG.5 or ‘Eris’. This has led to a 39 per cent increase in hospital admissions since the end of July.

CDC Covid tracker

15,067 hospital admissions from August 13th to August 19th


WHO tracks new Covid variant BA. X amid fears it could lead to a new explosion of cases

The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring a new variant of the coronavirus that could potentially lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The BA.X strain, also known as BA.2.86, was placed on the health agency’s watch list on Thursday due to the “large number of mutations it carries.”

Only three cases of the new strain were discovered in Denmark and Israel, with another later discovered in the United States.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar Reports:

Ariana BaioSep 4, 2023 5:45 p.m


Mysterious new Long Covid symptom identified by scientists

A new symptom of Long-Covid has been discovered by scientists from the University of Leeds.

Although most people who contract Covid recover within a few days or weeks of experiencing the first symptoms, some people can experience longer, more persistent symptoms, classified by the NHS as long-Covid or post-Covid-19 syndrome.

Ariana BaioSeptember 4, 2023 4:00 p.m


Ohio is the third state to report a worrying new strain of Covid

A virulent new strain of Covid-19 has been discovered during sewage testing in Ohio, the third state to report the vaccine-resistant variant.

Experts are keeping an eye on the BA.2.86 variant because it has the potential to infect people who have previously had Covid or have been vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a risk assessment released Wednesday.

The CDC said it was too early to determine whether BA.2 86, also known as the “Pirola” variant, could cause more severe disease than previous strains, but was concerned about the large number of genetic mutations compared to previous strains .

More testing is needed to confirm whether the variant is Pirola, the CDC said.

The discovery comes as the number of new Covid hospitalizations rose 21.6 percent this week, with an estimated 2,000 Americans requiring specialist care each day, according to figures released this week by the CDC.

The health department expects hospital admissions to increase significantly in the coming weeks and has superseded a previous forecast that admissions would remain stable.

Ariana BaioSeptember 4, 2023 2:00 p.m


Lionsgate is urging its staff to wear masks in light of the new Covid variant

Lionsgate has ordered almost half of its employees to wear masks in the workplace as Covid cases surge in the United States.

The entertainment production company, which has a London-based film division, recently told employees at its flagship Santa Monica, California, facility that those on the third and fifth floors of the five-story building must wear protective medical gear.

Ariana BaioSeptember 4, 2023 11:00 am


Updated vaccines should be available this month

Updated Covid vaccines are expected to be available in the US next month amid growing concerns about a new variant called Eris.

The CDC recommends keeping up to date on Covid vaccines and booster shots annually in addition to getting the flu shot. Elderly and immunocompromised people in particular are recommended to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of more severe symptoms.

Ariana BaioSeptember 4, 2023 08:00


Vermont man sentenced to jail for using Covid funds to start alpaca farm

A Vermont man has been sentenced to two years in prison for using more than $650,000 in pandemic aid towards personal expenses, including opening an alpaca farm.

Dana McIntyre, 59, received government funding through the Payment Protection Program for his former Massachusetts pizza joint in March 2020. Prosecutors said he claimed he had 50 employees who received $666,000 when in fact he had fewer than 10.

He then used the money to buy a farm in Vermont and eight alpacas.

Ariana BaioSeptember 4, 2023 02:00


Watch: Which surfaces spread Covid-19?

What surfaces spread Covid-19?

Ariana BaioSeptember 3, 2023 11:00 p.m


Long-Covid brain fog can be caused by blood clots, study finds

Cognitive problems related to Long-Covid can be caused by blood clots, according to a new study.

A study published in Nature Medicine looked at more than 1,800 adults hospitalized with Covid and found that elevated levels of two proteins – fibrinogen and D-dimer – were more common in people with long-lasting Covid symptoms affecting their brains had affected. Both proteins are a sign of blood clots in the body.

Ariana BaioSeptember 3, 2023 21:00


When to throw away your mask

As mask recommendations increase due to increases in cases, the CDC is reminding people how to look after masks.

The agency’s guidance recommends throwing away single-use masks after they’ve been worn once.

Cloth masks should be washed “at least once a day or as soon as they get wet or dirty.” If a cloth mask gets wet or dirty, it should be sealed in a plastic bag until you can wash it to prevent mold.

Dry and clean cloth masks should be stored in a breathable pouch to keep them clean between washes.

For respirators, individuals should check with the manufacturer how long they can be worn before they need to be discarded. Any disposable mask or respirator that gets wet or dirty should be discarded immediately. The agency stressed not to wear a wet or dirty mask.

Ariana BaioSeptember 3, 2023 7:00 p.m


Florida family convicted of selling bleach as a fake cure for Covid-19 via an online church

A Florida family has been found guilty of selling toxic industrial bleach as a fake cure for Covid-19 through their online church.

Four family members were convicted by a federal jury in Miami on Wednesday — Mark Grenon, 65, and his sons Jonathan, 37, Joseph, 35, and Jordan, 29, according to the AP.

According to court documents, they were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and supply mislabeled drugs. The charge carries a prison sentence of up to five years. The verdict will be announced on October 6th.

Ariana BaioSeptember 3, 2023 5:00 p.m

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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