Is the FLiRT COVID Variant Set to Dominate This Summer? What You Need to Know!

New COVID-19 Variant “FLiRT” Raises Concerns

Introduction

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, a new variant known as “FLiRT” has emerged as the dominant strain in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This variant has rapidly gained attention due to its prevalence and unique genetic characteristics, underscoring the ongoing challenges in managing public health.

Overview of the COVID-19 “FLiRT” Variant

The “FLiRT” variant, first detected in multiple regions, now accounts for approximately 25% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. in the final 2 weeks of April. Characterized by its rapid transmission rates and distinct genetic mutations, this variant’s spread highlights the virus’s adaptability and the constant need for public health vigilance. TCM’s holistic health approaches offer supportive measures to enhance bodily resilience during such evolving health crises.

Potential Impact of FLiRT Variants This Spring and Summer

According to a Health.com report (Read more here), the FLiRT variants currently do not appear to be causing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. CDC data shows minimal levels of SARS-CoV-2 in U.S. wastewater, and there has been no significant rise in cases as of April. Furthermore, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths has been decreasing since January 2024. However, experts remain cautious. Mark Cameron, PhD, from Case Western Reserve University, emphasizes that while significant impacts are not observed currently, the virus has a history of surprising changes. As such, there remains a possibility that the FLiRT variants could affect public health as the warmer months approach.

TCM Approach to Viral Respiratory Infections

Facing variants like “FLiRT,” Traditional Chinese Medicine offers practical, home-based strategies to support immune and respiratory health. TCM emphasizes balancing bodily energies and embracing a holistic wellness approach, which is especially beneficial during ongoing viral outbreaks. Here are some actionable TCM tips that individuals can apply at home:

  • Herbal Teas: Regular consumption of immune-boosting herbs such as ginger, astragalus, and licorice root can strengthen the body’s natural defenses.
  • Acupressure: Home-based acupressure techniques, such as massaging the Yingxiang points next to each nostril, can relieve nasal congestion and enhance respiratory health.
  • Breathing Exercises: Practices like Qigong and Tai Chi, involving mindful breathing and gentle movements, effectively improve lung capacity and energy flow (Qi) throughout the body.

Author: P. Sze

P. Sze P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. S he also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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