Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Michelle Mantey
The new Corona variant "Pirola" has now also been detected in Germany. Current evaluations show novel symptoms. Here's how to spot the first signs.
Frankfurt – Autumn is just around the corner and concerns about falling ill with the flu or corona infection are increasing. With the beginning of autumn, the new Corona variant "Pirola" is also coming to Germany. It officially bears the name BA.2.86. After the first discovery of the virus mutation in Israel, the variant also spread in Europe. The WHO reports the first cases in the UK, Denmark and Portugal.
Now the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports three proven "Pirola" cases in Germany. The sick people come from different federal states. According to the RKI, the cases of all corona infections have also continued to rise compared to the previous week. These are mainly so-called recombinants. These are mixed forms of different corona variants. But how does "Pirola" differ from other variants?
After an evaluation, unusual symptoms of the new corona variant "Pirola" were detected in Great Britain. (Symbolic image) © Design Pics/IMAGO
People infected with the Corona variant "Pirola" show unusual symptoms
According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), the most common corona symptoms are cough, runny nose, sore throat, hoarseness, fever and disturbance of the sense of smell. However, the symptoms may vary depending on the course and severity of the disease or may cause other symptoms such as shortness of breath, rash or nausea.
The British newspaper ChronicleLive now reports on evaluations of the ZOE health study on the "Pirola" variant. The ZOE Health Study app collects health data in which patients in the UK document their progression and symptoms. Sufferers often showed signs such as headaches, fatigue, inflammationin the throat, hoarseness and sneezing. However, the following rather unusual symptoms of the disease were also reported by those affected:
- Itchy or reddened eyes
- Red and sore fingers or toes
- Changes in the mouth or tongue due to, for example, swelling or ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue or on the inside of the mouth and lips
How dangerous is the Corona variant "Pirola"?
In England, 10 out of 48 cases had to be treated in hospital, according to the ChronicleLive. Two sick people had to go to the emergency room. But the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the government agency of the British Department of Health, has not yet reported any deaths. Therefore, there is still no evidence that people with the "Pirola" variant become more seriously ill than people with other variants.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Something similar is reported by the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation. For example, the Eris variant dominates in Germany, which, according to virologist Ulrike Protzer of the Technical University of Munich, is not more dangerous, but more contagious. The "Pirola" variant is even less contagious. In Israel, mandatory testing has now been introduced to curb the spread of "Pirola".
Corona numbers to rise in winter
In Germany, the Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) recommends the new Corona vaccination in order to be protected in autumn. This is because an increase in the number of infections can be expected, especially in winter, as people spend more time indoors and are more likely to infect there. The vaccine from the manufacturer BioNTech has already been adapted to new variants, but it is still unclear whether it will also be effective against the new "Pirola" variant.
Therefore, some people in Hesse are relying on the Corona mask again and voluntarily wearing it on public transport. Currently, however, wearing a mask in public is not mandatory. In general, the RKI advises people who have contracted a Covid infection to isolate for about three to five days in order to avoid spreading. (mima)