San Diego County

COVID cases up across California, San Diego County also seeing uptick

Recent COVID variants are known as FLiRT

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There is an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the state, and according to medical experts, the latest subvariants are spreading faster. Major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles are also experiencing an increase in positive cases as more people get out to enjoy their summer vacations.

In San Diego County, data shows the gradual climb in cases has brought positive tests up to 8%, which is up from 2.3% at the end of April. However, that's just recorded results with at-home test kits and symptoms going unreported, Dr. Jyotyu Sandhu of Sharp Rees-Steal says the number of cases is much higher.

”It’s a combination of people coming into the clinic but also doing home tests," Sandhu said. "Of course, it’s not perfect because many people who are doing home tests are not even testing at all, are not even recording it.”

Dr. Sandhu says the recent variants are known as FLiRT. According to Johns Hopkins University, it includes KP.2 and JN.1.7., which come from the dominant strain of JN.1 that has been circulating over the past several months across the country.

"There are two major variants that are spreading across California we’re seeing in L.A.," Sandhu said.

He says it could be about three to four weeks before San Diego County sees more cases with the new variants.

"They’re different enough from the winter variant that they’re able to spread more to people who are even exposed to the winter variant because they’ve evolved differently enough," Sandhu said.

While different strains of the virus continuously evolve, the treatment process for those who get sick hasn't changed.

”Track your symptoms, talk to your doctor, maybe you need antiviral treatment based on your risk factors," Sandhu said.

Dr. Sandhu also recommends everyone get vaccinated, especially those more susceptible to health risks. He added those who are more vulnerable should receive an updated vaccination every four months.

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