Orthrus Covid variant behind quarter of UK cases — symptoms to spot

A new Covid variant is said to account for nearly a quarter of cases of the virus in England. It is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant known as Orthrus or CH.1.1. and

was first detected in November last year, according to surveillance data. Experts warn Orthrus is the Covid variant most likely to take over from the currently dominant

BQ.1, which is a sub-variant of Omicron. According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) figures, since its first emergence in November the variant accounted for roughly

23.1 per cent of all Covid cases in England by January 1. The UKHSA says data suggests it could represent 100 per cent of all cases in some areas.Orthrus Covid variant

in the UK Orthrus is named after a mythical two-headed dog in ancient fiction that guarded a giant’s castle. Genomic mapping from the Sanger Institute, a partly

Government-funded research group, shows that Orthrus had taken in over in certain parts of England. These include Northumberland, Bradford, Wakefield, Blackburn with Darwen,

North West Leicestershire, Breckland, Central Bedfordshire, Oxford, Reading, Woking, Enfield, Havering, Sevenoaks, Crawley, and Adur. Blackburn with Darwen has the highest

percentage of cases when taking the difference between the lower estimate, 43 per cent, and the upper estimate, 100 per cent. The first area of the UK to register Orthrus by

Sanger’s modelling was Blaby, south-west Leicestershire, in the week leading to November 12. Dr Meera Chand, UKHSA director of clinical and emerging infections, was quoted

by The Independent as saying: “Through our genomic surveillance, we continue to see evolution of variants in the Omicron family.