Northern Ireland

Cases of new KP.2 Covid variant detected in the north

Six cases of the variant have been confirmed in the north so far

The Independent MP was expelled from the Conservative Party last year for comparing Covid-19 vaccines to the Holocaust
Current Covid-19 vaccines protect against the new KP.2 strain. (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has said it will monitor the spread of a new Covid variant confirmed in the north.

So far, six cases of the ‘FLiRT’ variant known as ‘KP.2′ have been identified in the north, along with several cases in the Republic.

A variant of the Omicron strain, KP.2 is currently thought to be the dominant Covid strain in the USA.

It is not believed to cause more severe illness in most people than previous strains, and it is understood current Covid vaccines work well at protecting against the variant.

“As most people with Covid-19 are no longer tested, this is only a small sample of a larger number of cases,” a PHA spokesperson said of the recorded cases in the north.

“There is not yet enough evidence to judge the effect of this variant’s mutations. Public health authorities will monitor its spread and severity, as with previous variants.”

Speaking of protections against all strains of the virus, they added: “Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent or reduce the impact of infectious diseases, as they teach our immune system to recognise and fight viruses.”