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Mutant COVID Variant (‘Pirola’) Rears Its Ugly Head in U.S.

Covid-19 research
. Pixabay

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, the COVID-19 variant with over 30 mutations on its stem appears to be awakening from its hibernation. In the U.S., BA.2.86, nicknamed “Pirola,” was detected in August, but up until a month ago, it was less than 1% of the known infections. The curiosity has been that, up to now, it wasn’t expanding.

Now, the best estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from genetic sequencing of infections, has Pirola tripling up to around 3% of the cases in early November, and tripling that, up to 9%, in the Nov. 14-27 period. Unlike every other known variant, which all have a single-digit number of mutations (and usually only 1 to 3 mutations), both the original Omicron and now Pirola are in the ballpark of several dozen mutations; Pirola, at last count, had around 35.

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