CHICAGO — Health officials are closely monitoring the spread of three new COVID-19 strains across the nation.
Hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise, albeit below previous peaks. The EG.5 strain dominates, making up 20.6% of new cases, followed by FL.1.5.1 at 13.3%. Both share the F456L mutation, enhancing their transmission. A highly mutated BA.2.86 (“Pirola”) variant raises concerns due to its numerous mutations.
Symptoms appear largely unchanged, and current tests seem effective. Vaccine boosters are expected to counter EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, but uncertainties surround BA.2.86’s impact. Health authorities remain vigilant amid evolving circumstances.