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Latest COVID-19 Update

The COVID virus is changing again, and some recent versions are spreading faster and can bypass vaccines more effectively. This is partly because the virus is always trying to survive and evolve. It’s like a race between the virus mutations and new vaccines.

In the past year, several new versions of the virus have shown up, and they are becoming better at spreading and avoiding vaccines. This is a big challenge.

A new COVID-19 variant called HV.1 is now the most common variant in the United States, replacing the previous EG.5 variant. HV.1’s prevalence has skyrocketed from 1.1 percent in August to 25.2 percent of COVID cases, while EG.5 has dropped from 24.3 percent to 21.9 percent in a month. This shift followed the introduction of a new COVID booster designed against the XBB.1.5 variant, leading to the emergence of HV.1 and another dominant strain. This article, written by Yuhong Dong, Infectious Disease Specialist, suggests that the relationship between vaccines and evolving COVID variants will be discussed further.

HV.1’s prevalence has skyrocketed from 1.1 percent in August to 25.2 percent of COVID cases

HV.1 is a descendant of EG.5, which gained concern due to its rapid transmission and immune evasion. HV.1 shares some of the same mutations but has an extra one known for boosting infectivity. Meanwhile, other variants like omicron subvariant HK.3 (FLip) and JN.1 have lower binding affinities, potentially affecting their ability to infect host cells. This uncertainty in the behavior of COVID variants underscores the challenge in dealing with their constant evolution.

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