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    All You Need to Know About the New COVID Variant: Pirola

    Coronavirus and Pregnancy

    All You Need to Know About the New COVID Variant: Pirola

    Updated on 20 November 2023

    Just as we had begun to settle into the complacency of a world without Covid-19, a new Covid variant is on the rise. Having been detected in 11 countries including the US, UK and Canada, the new strain of Coronavirus is keeping scientists across the world on their toes. And as it is with any new health concern, we feel the urge to know its symptoms and warning signs at the earliest.

    In this article, we will not only discuss the symptoms of new Covid variant but also shed light on any warning signs to look out for, their treatment and preventative measures to safeguard you and your loved ones.

    What You Need to Know About Pirola COVID Variant?

    The Pirola Variant of Covid-19, encompassing JN.1 and HV.1, has been identified as a subtype of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This variant has gained attention due to its unique features and potential implications for public health.

    It is distinguished by a unique set of mutations in the spike protein of the virus, which plays a crucial role in its ability to infect human cells. These mutations have prompted concerns about the variant's transmissibility and potential impact on vaccine effectiveness.

    As research into the variant progresses, it is essential for individuals to stay updated on the latest developments and recommendations from health authorities.

    What are the Symptoms of New COVID Variant?

    Understanding the symptoms of the new variant is crucial for early detection and appropriate intervention. Common symptoms associated with JN.1 and HV.1 include:

    1. Fever and Chills

    Similar to the original strain, the Pirola variant may present with fever and chills.

    2. Respiratory Issues

    Persistent cough and shortness of breath are prevalent symptoms.

    2. Fatigue

    Unexplained fatigue may be a notable indicator of infection.

    3. Body Aches

    Muscular discomfort and body aches can accompany the infection.

    4. Headache

    Persistent headaches may be a symptom, signaling the presence of the new variant.

    5. Loss of Taste and Smell

    An altered sense of taste and smell is a well-documented symptom.

    6. Gastrointestinal Symptoms

    Some individuals may even experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

    7. Unusual Symptom Alert: COVID Tongue

    Amidst the constellation of symptoms associated with JN.1 and HV.1, an unusual and noteworthy manifestation has been identified as "COVID tongue." This atypical symptom involves changes in the appearance and sensation of the tongue, prompting further investigation into its implications for diagnosis and management of the new variant.

    What Are COVID Tongue Symptoms?

    COVID-19 Tongue involves changes in the oral cavity that can manifest in various ways. Symptoms may include:

    1. Red or Purple Discoloration

    The tongue may exhibit unusual shades of red or purple.

    2. Swelling

    Some individuals may experience swelling of the tongue.

    3. Ulcers or Lesions

    Painful ulcers or lesions may develop on the tongue or inside the mouth.

    4. Coating or White Patches

    The tongue may develop a coating or display white patches.

    5. Burning Sensation

    A sensation of burning or tingling in the mouth is reported by some individuals.

    6. Altered Taste

    Changes in taste perception can accompany COVID Tongue.

    Is There Any COVID Tongue Treatment?

    As of now, there is no specific treatment tailored for this phenomenon. However, managing symptoms and seeking medical attention for severe cases is crucial. Maintaining hydration and practicing good oral hygiene are recommended.

    Prevention and Precautions for the New COVID Variant

    In light of the emergence of the Pirola COVID variant, proactive measures are crucial in preventing its spread and protecting individuals from infection. By adhering to the following prevention and precautions, individuals can contribute to collective efforts in mitigating the impact of the new variant:

    1. Vaccination

    Ensuring vaccination against COVID-19, including booster doses where recommended, is a critical step in reducing the risk of infection and severe illness associated with the new variant. Individuals are encouraged to stay updated on vaccination guidelines and recommendations from health authorities.

    2. Masking and Respiratory Hygiene

    Wearing masks in indoor and crowded settings, practicing respiratory etiquette, and maintaining adequate ventilation are essential in reducing the transmission of the new variant. Proper mask fit and quality are important considerations in maximizing protection.

    3. Hand Hygiene

    Regular handwashing with soap and water, or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, remains a fundamental preventive measure against the new variant. Thorough hand hygiene reduces the risk of viral transmission from contaminated surfaces and objects.

    4. Physical Distancing

    Where feasible, maintaining physical distance from individuals outside of one's household can minimize the risk of exposure to the new variant. Limiting close contact and avoiding crowded spaces are effective strategies in reducing transmission.

    5. Testing and Surveillance

    Timely testing for COVID-19, including rapid antigen tests and PCR-based diagnostics, supports early detection of the new variant and facilitates prompt public health interventions. Surveillance systems play a crucial role in monitoring the prevalence and spread of the variant.

    6. Travel Restrictions and Guidelines

    Adhering to travel advisories and guidelines issued by health authorities helps mitigate the introduction and dissemination of the new variant across different regions. Individuals are encouraged to stay informed about travel requirements and recommendations.

    7. Quarantine and Isolation Protocols

    Adhering to quarantine and isolation protocols following exposure to the new COVID-19 variant is essential in preventing further transmission. Compliance with public health directives supports containment efforts and protects vulnerable populations.

    8. Public Health Communication

    Engaging with transparent and accurate public health communication, including updates on variant-specific guidance and recommendations, fosters informed decision-making and community resilience in the face of the new variant.

    Final Thoughts

    In the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the nuances of new Covid variant is crucial for individual and community well-being. By staying informed, adopting preventive measures, and seeking prompt medical attention when needed, we can collectively navigate the challenges posed by the Pirola COVID Variant and contribute to the ongoing efforts to curb the spread of the virus.


    1. Looi MK. (2023). Covid-19: Scientists sound alarm over new BA.2.86 "Pirola" variant. BMJ.

    2. Mahase E. (2023). Covid-19: New "Pirola" variant BA.2.86 continues to spread in UK and US. BMJ.

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    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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