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Home » Virologist’s Warning About New Pirola Variant As He Blasts Covid Attitudes

Virologist’s Warning About New Pirola Variant As He Blasts Covid Attitudes

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Carol Vorderman reveals she’s tested positive for COVID-19A top scientist has issued a warning about the latest new Covid-19 variant – and has blasted the UK’s attitude towards the virus.

University of Leeds virologist Professor Stephen Griffin said he is “staggered” by the current approach to Covid, which seems to be to accept it as a seasonal virus, despite the UK already having had a number of waves so far this year.

And he warned that the virus shows “no signs of stopping” and said that the new BA.2.86 ‘Pirola’ variant has set “alarm bells ringing” – and could “reach critical conditions” – after being detected around the world and in Britain.

The new Covid pIrola varint has not yet been linked with any deaths (Image: Getty)

While there have not yet been any recorded deaths involving this variant, Professor Griffin points out that, so far this year, 14,000 deaths have mentioned Covid on the death certificate.

He also believes it is too early to draw conclusions on whether Pirola is more or less serious than past variants. And he warned that “immunity will wain and things can get worse”.

Griffin said: “The perception we’re done with it and the narrative of having to live with it is another way of saying we’re willing to deal with the damage it does.”

“It’s the opposite of the Emperor’s new clothes, it is there, it’s killing people, and we’re not talking about it.”

His warning comes as Gatwick airport culled flights after a Covid outbreak, leading to more travel chaos – and The UK Health Security Agency confirmed 34 cases of the @Pirola’ variant in the UK – with 28 of those at a single care home in Norfolk.

Regarding the risk posed by the ‘Pirola’ variant, he told the Mirror: ” “It’s obviously successful because it’s spread round the world, it’s only just emerged into people we know that … so it’s managed to spread round the world very quickly against the background of hugely successful Omicron XBB variants.

“The idea that it’ll burn out could happen, but I suspect it won’t … if you look back, the delta variant was quite similar at the beginning and it had fits and starts, before it really got going.

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“It could reach critical conditions. There are very few sequences at the moment but testing bias is very poor.

“It could be a matter of time [until case numbers take off], it could be it doesn’t become very much itself, but it’s another sign we can’t consign this to being a seasonal flu.

“It’s really hard to tell the future with that, if nothing else it’ll be a forebearer for other variants that could outcompete the XBB’s … we keep saying this, we keep seeing these jumps in evolution for the virus, and it shows no sign of stopping.”