Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have surged by 24% in the UK in only one week as the new strain BA.2.86, often known as Pirola, is spreading across the nation.
The number of patients testing positive for the virus surged by over 29.4% compared to the previous week, according to statistics released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) from the last week of September, despite a smaller testing infrastructure, as reported by The Independent.
The alarming figures coincide with the fact that, according to the Covid variant tracker GISAID, there have been over 100 occurrences of the highly mutated Pirola nationwide.
Specialists are concerned about Pirola, the newest Omicron strain to emerge this summer, since it has 34 more mutations that may make it simpler to resist vaccinations.
According to GISAID, Pirola has been found in 15 different nations throughout the world so far, including Denmark, France, Japan, and Australia. The report claims that since mid-July, hospital admissions in the UK have been increasing.
3,819 Covid patients were admitted to hospitals in the week ending September 29. This is a 24.8% increase over the previous week.
Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor, UKHSA, was quoted as saying, “It is encouraging to see an initial indication that BA.2.86 demonstrates similar levels of antibody escape compared to other variants circulating in the UK, but more research is needed before we can be certain.”
“There is currently no evidence to suggest that it is more likely to make people seriously ill than other Omicron variants in circulation, but the available data is too limited to draw conclusions about the severity of the illness it causes,” the spokesperson said.
The most typical symptoms of the new strain are headache, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, and fatigue.
The following three symptoms have also been often reported: rashes, eye discomfort, and diarrhea.