UK records fourth Pirola case but new study suggests 'real deal' Covid variant may not be as...
Pirola, the new Covid variant dubbed the 'real deal' by experts, may not be as dangerous as initially feared, new data suggests.
Early results from a US lab found those who had previously been infected with Covid or had a jab had a similar level of immunity to other fellow Omicron Covid variants.
While this won't stop people from catching the virus, it suggests the UK's wall of immunity should still help prevent many people from becoming severely ill.
Experts say however this depends on the success of the autumn jab drive topping up immunity levels, which has been brought forward starting next week.
Four Pirola cases have now been officially confirmed in the UK, after Scotland recorded an additional case yesterday.
Alarm bells were initially raised due to Pirola, technically called BA.2.86, having a catalogue of 35 mutations which experts feared could help it to evade immune defences, driving up infections and cases of severe illness.
But the US study suggests that despite Pirola coming from a different branch of the Omicron family trees than other recent and less concerning variants, including Eris and Arcturus, the protection offered from jabs and prior infection still holds.