A 'highly-mutated' variant of Coronavirus has been detected in the UK and is now spreading 'in most regions.' Dubbed the Pirola strain, it is thought to be highly immune system evasive, with positive cases doubling almost every few days in recent weeks.
It has been confirmed to have more than 30 mutations, making it difficult for experts to analyse and is already on the World Health Organisation's watch list.
It is thought there will be a surge in cases of the BA.2.86 strain and the UK's Health and Security Agency said it has been spotted in most parts of the UK, with a spokesman stating: “BA.2.86 continues to transmit within the UK, with sporadic cases identified in most regions.” Try MEN Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features. Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor of the UKHSA, said: “While this is still very early data and more research is needed before we can be certain, 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. "The available data is too limited to draw conclusions about the severity of the illness it causes, but there is so far no evidence to suggest that it is more likely to make people seriously ill than other Omicron variants in circulation." Here are the symptoms of the Covid Pirola strain to be aware of: It comes as the UK's autumn vaccination programme began earlier than planned last month following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Dr Hopkins added: “The autumn vaccination programme started this [September], and this new data shows once again how important it is that the most vulnerable among us are