IN the United States, HV.1 is showing signs of potentially overtaking the currently dominant EG.5 variant.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, HV.1 was first detected in mid-summer and has now accounted for nearly 20% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
As the winter season approaches, experts are closely monitoring this new variant to differentiate it from the flu.
The CDC reports that HV.1 is rapidly becoming a significant portion of cases, with its prevalence surging from 0.5% in late July, nearly on par with EG.5.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh A. Adalja emphasizes that although HV.1 is highly transmissible, there is no immediate cause for alarm.
He points out that new SARS-CoV-2 variants are expected, and most of them are not likely to pose a significant threat.
Symptoms associated with HV.1 are similar to typical COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, and nausea or vomiting.
Experts believe that the updated COVID-19 vaccine, designed to combat the XBB.1.5 variant, is likely to provide protection against HV.1 since HV.1 is considered a descendant of XBB.1.5.