Health experts are warning of a possible surge in Covid cases this summer.

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Variant KP.2 is impacting the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. However, it's unclear where the variant originated. It's fast becoming more common in several countries. KP.2 is part of a larger group called the FLiRT variants. FLiRT is short for the amino phenylalanine (abbreviated as F) replaces the amino acid leucine (abbreviated as L), while the amino acid arginine (R) is replaced by threonine (T).

KP.2 is the dominant strain now, after overtaking JN.1

At the end of March, KP.2 made up 4% of infections in the U.S. However, by early May, KP.2 overtook JN.1 with 28% infected. KP.1 and KP.2 continue to pick up momentum, sparking speculation of a summer surge of Covid-19 infections.

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According to the CDC, symptoms of KP.1 and KP.2 are:

• Fever or chills
•  Cough
•  Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
•  Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
•  Headache
•  New loss of taste or smell
•  Sore throat
•  Congestion or runny nose
•  Nausea or vomiting
•  Diarrhea

As KP.2 is more transmissible, it has a lower level of infectiousness than JN.1

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KP.2 is still expanding in the population. Health officials aren't seeing a lot of hospitalizations. They warn that winter is when a surge is more likely, when people are inside and in more contact. KP.2 is a reminder that Covid is still around.

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