In the new Corona season, one variant is particularly worrying the experts: “Pirola”. Apparently this variant also shows unusual symptoms.
The Corona variant BA.2.86 is also known as “Pirola” on social media. It is under special observation by the WHO, and experts around the world view it with concern. The mutant first appeared in Denmark in July . So far there are still few confirmed cases, including in Switzerland, South Africa , Israel , the USA and Great Britain . So far it has only been detected sporadically in Germany , but it is likely to be much more widespread. In this country, testing is no longer carried out across the board and sequencing is only carried out comparatively rarely.
What makes “Pirola” so extraordinary is the high number of mutations. The variant has 34 changes to the spike protein. The virus uses this protein to enter human cells in order to multiply and infect people. And the vaccinations are also directed against this protein. It should be recognized and fought by the immune system.
Pirola is the most noticeable Covid strain since Omicron
Due to the high number of mutations, the director of the Genetics Institute at University College London , Francois Balloux, spoke of the “most striking Covid strain that the world has seen since the creation of ‘Omicron'”.
It is not yet possible to assess whether the new variant has the potential to become dominant. “The big question is whether BA.2.86 will see the same exponential growth as ‘Omicron’ – in terms of case numbers – or whether it will die out, as everyone certainly hopes,” said Scott Roberts, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Medicine Medicine.
Pirola causes atypical symptoms of illness
In Great Britain, Corona is monitored more closely in the ZOE health study than in Germany. According to the “New Scientist”, the new variant actually shows symptoms that are rather atypical for a corona infection under Omicron. So far, according to ZOE (an app to which symptoms and progression of a corona infection are reported), the following are typical:
- Sore throat
According to British newspapers such as the “New Scientist” or the “ChronicleLive”, patients currently suffering from Corona (whether with the “Eris” or the “Pirola” variant) are currently reporting rather atypical symptoms such as:
- Eye irritation
- Red and sore fingers or toes
- skin rash
- Swelling or ulcers in the mouth and tongue
Who should get vaccinated
The new vaccination campaign against the coronavirus has been running for a few weeks . The Standing Vaccination Commission recommends that people over 60 years of age, residents of old people’s and nursing homes and people with previous illnesses receive a booster vaccination every twelve months, preferably in autumn. The recommendation also applies to medical and nursing staff who have an increased risk of infection due to their work. You should urgently get vaccinated before winter.