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Houston Methodist reports summer COVID surge

New COVID strain KP.3 causing surge in cases across US. Symptoms include headaches and respiratory issues. Reminder to get tested.

A surge in COVID cases is currently being observed across the country, with a new strain known as KP.3 being identified as the culprit. While the summer surge in Texas is relatively moderate, local doctors are urging individuals to get tested if they experience any symptoms.

According to healthcare professionals, the KP.3 strain does not lead to more severe illness. Symptoms typically include headaches and respiratory issues that are similar to allergy flare-ups. It is important to note that even individuals with mild symptoms can still transmit the virus to others, particularly those who are immunocompromised. This includes individuals who have undergone organ transplants, are on certain immunosuppressant medications, or are undergoing intensive chemotherapy.

The KP.3 strain originated from the JN.1 strain, which was predominant during the previous winter. Data from the City of Houston's wastewater monitoring dashboard indicates a 220% increase in viral load compared to July 2020.

Houston Methodist has reported an increase in testing and positive cases in their emergency rooms and urgent care centers. While hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain low in Texas, it is crucial for individuals to get tested if they feel unwell.

The healthcare provider stated, "This new strain of COVID, variant KP.3, is derived from JN.1, which was the dominant variant this past winter. It is not expected to cause more severe illness and is commonly causing headaches and respiratory issues similar to allergies."

In conclusion, it is essential for individuals to remain vigilant and prioritize testing if they experience any symptoms. By staying informed and following recommended guidelines, we can collectively combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable in our communities.

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