There is a new Covid-19 variant scientifically named BA.2.86, dubbed by the worldwide community as Pirola and is a descendant of the Omicron variant.
What makes this variant stand out is its high number of mutations. The variant has approximately 30 mutations, about the same number that differentiated the highly transmissible and virulent Omicron variant from its predecessors.
As scary as it may sound, there is good news. According to several laboratory studies, Pirola isn’t alarming on a cellular level, so the chance that the variant will lead to a massive Covid-19 surge as we have experienced in the past is small.
The variant has reportedly been detected in the UK, US, Denmark, South Africa and Israel and it’s thought that the Pirola variant is the reason for a spike in coronavirus cases across Europe.
As it stands, the dominant strains of Covid-19 in South Africa and around the world are all related to the Omicron variant, and in particular, the EG.5 variant, which we all know as the Eris variant.
Pirola is one of three Omicron variants doing the rounds, with the other two variants being Eris and the BA.6 variant, unofficially called Pi.
Symptoms to look out for are runny nose, mild or severe fatigue, sneezing, headaches and sore throat.
According to a New Scientist report, there are three more symptoms which have been commonly reported with these variants, namely diarrhoea, eye irritation and rashes.