Alert for wave of new mutation COVID sweeping country


An alert is being issued as a wave of new mutated COVID is sweeping the country.

As COVID-19 cases escalate across Australia, a sense of unease is settling over the nation. The emergence of the FLiRT subvariant has sparked a surge in hospitalizations and fatalities, with Western Australia, Tasmania, and New South Wales bearing the brunt of the outbreak. As the virus tightens its grip, concerns are mounting about the vulnerability of at-risk populations, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. But what can be done to mitigate the spread, and what does the future hold for a nation grappling with this evolving health crisis?

Key Takeaways

  • Australia is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, with FLiRT subvariants spreading rapidly across the country.
  • FLiRT has overtaken JN.1 as the prevailing strain in the US and is likely to do the same in Australia.
  • Western Australia has seen an 83% increase in cases, with 1,095 recorded along with 15 deaths in the fortnight ending May 12.
  • Doctors recommend staying home when sick, practicing good hygiene, and getting vaccinated to protect oneself and others from FLiRT.
  • Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, are at heightened risk of severe illness from FLiRT.

FLiRT Subvariants in Australia

In Australia, a new family of COVID-causing subvariants, known as FLiRT, has emerged, deriving from JN.1 and boasting increased transmissibility while exhibiting lower severity compared to early variants.

This new strain is characterized by its ability to navigate immunity more effectively than its predecessors. The name FLiRT originates from the location of additional mutations in the spike protein of these variants.

Scientists are still working to understand the reasons behind the virus’s behavior. The emergence of FLiRT highlights the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2, which is typical of viruses. As researchers continue to study FLiRT, the focus remains on understanding its properties and implications for public health.

Spread and Detection Across States

Rapidly gaining dominance, FLiRT has overtaken JN.1 as the prevailing strain in the US, a scenario likely to be replicated in Australia. In Western Australia, cases increased by 83% for the fortnight ending May 12, with 1,095 recorded along with 15 deaths.

Tasmania is also experiencing a surge in cases. In NSW, COVID-19 cases have increased to moderate levels, with 2,820 positive cases recorded. In Queensland, 47% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were aged 75 years or older. Victoria has seen an increase in hospitalizations, with wastewater measures indicating a rise in cases. Doctors are urging people to take steps to protect themselves and others as the virus continues to spread across states.

Symptoms and Response to FLiRT

With FLiRT’s enhanced ability to evade the immune system, many people may become ill, adding pressure to the health system. Symptoms of FLiRT are similar to recent versions, including fever, cough, fatigue, and more.

Doctors recommend staying home when sick, having good hygiene and sanitation practices, and calling a GP for advice if symptoms worsen. The President of the Royal Australian College of GPs suggests staying on top of immunizations.

If eligible, people should get their flu vax and COVID booster. It is crucial to take steps to protect oneself and others, as the spread of FLiRT can have severe consequences, including hospitalization and death.

Vaccine Effectiveness and Updates

The available vaccine remains the most effective option for those who are eligible and want one, offering protection against the evolving COVID-19 strains. While updated vaccines are being developed to combat the new FLiRT variants, current vaccines remain effective for eligible individuals.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises adults aged 18 to 64 to consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine every 12 months, with severely immunocompromised individuals advised to consider vaccinations more frequently. Consultation with a GP is recommended to determine the best vaccination schedule. Staying up-to-date with vaccinations is crucial in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and protecting public health.

Staying Safe and Informed

Many Australians are taking proactive steps to protect themselves and others from the spread of FLiRT, the new COVID-causing subvariants. As FLiRT spreads rapidly, staying informed and taking preventative measures is crucial. Doctors urge individuals to prioritize good hygiene, stay home when sick, and maintain open communication with healthcare professionals.

Staying up-to-date on the latest vaccination guidelines and schedules is essential. The Australian Government and health organizations provide reliable resources for staying informed about COVID-19.

COVID-19 in Australia Today

Australia is grappling with the rapid spread of FLiRT, and the country’s COVID-19 landscape is shifting, with case numbers surging and hospitalizations on the rise. In Western Australia, cases have increased by 83% in the fortnight ending May 12, with 1,095 recorded along with 15 deaths.

In Tasmania, cases are increasing, while in NSW, COVID-19 cases have reached moderate levels, with 2,820 positive cases recorded. Hospitalizations in Victoria have also increased, with wastewater measures indicating an increase in cases. Doctors urge individuals to take steps to protect themselves and others, emphasizing the importance of good hygiene, sanitation practices, and staying home when sick.

Protecting Vulnerable Communities

Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, are at heightened risk of severe illness from FLiRT, underscoring the need for targeted protection and support. These individuals require extra precautions to prevent infection, such as increased social distancing, mask-wearing, and enhanced hygiene practices.

Healthcare providers should prioritize vaccination and booster shots for these groups, while also ensuring timely access to medical care if symptoms arise. Additionally, community-based initiatives, such as meal delivery and social support services, can help alleviate the burden on vulnerable communities.

Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic

Effective strategies for preventing the spread of FLiRT and mitigating its impact require a multifaceted approach that combines individual responsibility, community-based initiatives, and sustained public health efforts.

This includes staying home when sick, practicing good hygiene, and getting vaccinated. Doctors urge individuals to take steps to protect themselves and others, such as getting immunized and staying on top of vaccinations.

The World Health Organization recommends future COVID-19 vaccines be based on JN.1 to offer protection against future JN.1 descendant lineages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Still Use a Mask to Protect Myself From Flirt?

Yes, wearing a mask remains an effective way to reduce the transmission of FLiRT and other COVID-19 variants, especially in high-risk settings or for individuals with compromised immune systems.

Are There Any New COVID-19 Treatments Being Developed?

Researchers are exploring novel COVID-19 treatments, including antiviral medications and immunomodulators, to combat emerging variants like FLiRT, with multiple clinical trials underway to evaluate their efficacy and safety profiles.

How Do I Know if I Have a Chronic COVID-19 Infection?

To determine if you have a chronic COVID-19 infection, look for persistent symptoms, such as cough, fatigue, and fever, lasting beyond the typical 7-10 day illness period, and consult a healthcare professional for evaluation and guidance.

Can I Get Infected With FLIRT More Than Once?

Regarding the question of repeat FLiRT infections, it is possible to contract FLiRT more than once due to its ability to evade the immune system, making reinfection a plausible scenario.

Will COVID-19 Ever Be Completely Eradicated From the Planet?

While it’s challenging to eradicate COVID-19 completely, continued global cooperation, vaccination efforts, and scientific advancements can potentially control its spread, reducing it to a manageable, endemic level, but complete elimination is uncertain.

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