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New ‘FLiRT’ Variants Spark Summer COVID Surge Warning

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New FLiRT variantIn recent weeks, COVID-19 forecasters have reported on a new set of variants picked up in wastewater surveillance. Nicknamed FLiRT, they’re threatening to cause a new wave of COVID infections, which recently bottomed out after spiking in December.

Models released last week from Jay Weiland, a data scientist who has accurately predicted COVID waves since the beginning of the pandemic, warns that a surge is on the horizon. “He’s someone who many experts like myself follow because he’s been pretty accurate so far,” said Megan L. Ranney, MD, dean of the Yale School of Public Health.

Host vulnerability is another troubling factor, given that only 22% of American adults have gotten the latest COVID vaccine. And since many people may not have had the virus in a while, they’re ripe for reinfection.

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