Scientists have announced a new strain of the coronavirus called FL.1.5.1 – or “Fornax”.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies Fornax as the second largest strain after the now widespread EG.5 variant, making up 13.3 percent of US infections, according to the Times of India website.
Fornax – nicknamed by biologist and coronavirus tracker T. Ryan Gregory – has nearly doubled its rate of infection from previous week, where it was estimated to be 7.1 percent of total coronavirus variant infections.
The CBS News website reported that are XBB variant descendants that share a mutation known as F456L. This appears to help these variants spread more than other strains.
According to CDC estimates, EG.5 was responsible for 20.6 percent of coronavirus cases in the US at the end of the third week of August, more than any other SARS virus in circulation.
Health experts are now tracking three new variants of the coronavirus over the past few weeks – the FL.1.5.1, EG.5 and BA.6 strains.
Symptoms of EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 largely appear to be the same, especially compared to previous Omicron variants.
These include a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing with or without phlegm, and headache.
Moderna announced that according to data from initial clinical trials, its updated vaccine for coronavirus is confirmed to show a significant boost in neutralizing antibodies against the EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 variants.