Beware the FLiRT: A New Wave of COVID Threatens Summer

Reported by Ravi

Brace yourselves, as a new threat looms on the horizon of the COVID-19 landscape. Dubbed FLiRT, these variants detected in wastewater surveillance could usher in another surge of infections, despite a recent decline since December.

Expert Insights:

Renowned data scientist Jay Weiland, known for accurate pandemic predictions, warns of an impending surge. Dr. Megan L. Ranney, Dean of the Yale School of Public Health, underscores FLiRT’s alarming spike protein changes, heightening infection risks.


With only 22% of American adults vaccinated, susceptibility to reinfection is high. Dr. Thomas A. Russo from the University of Buffalo notes a population with waning immunity, exacerbating vulnerability.

Booster Efficacy:

Concerns arise over the efficacy of the latest booster against JN.1 and FLiRT variants, highlighted by a preprint study from Harvard University. JN.1, an offshoot of Omicron, dominates COVID cases in the U.S., signaling potential for rapid spread.

Seasonal Patterns:

Russo outlines predictable COVID wave rhythms, attributing winter surges to indoor settings with poor ventilation. He predicts a possible summer wave due to increased indoor activity.

Protective Measures:

Vaccination remains paramount despite booster uncertainties. The CDC advises prompt booster uptake, especially for high-risk groups. Masks, isolation, and new treatments like Pemgarda are recommended safeguards against a resurgence.

Long COVID Concerns:

Dr. Grace McComsey of University Hospitals Health System warns of rising long COVID cases, stressing its debilitating chronic effects. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine underscores vaccination’s role in mitigating long COVID risks.

Conclusion:FLiRT presents a formidable challenge in our ongoing battle against COVID-19. Vigilance, vaccination, and adherence to preventive measures remain crucial to safeguarding public health against potential summer surges and long-term ramifications.

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