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  • Writer's pictureDr. Clifford Brown

New COVID Variant 'HV.1' Has Surprising Mutations

The new variant is on the rise in the United States has features of Eris and 2022's delta variant. What's the impact?

By Yuhong Dong 10/31/2023 Updated:10/31/2023

A new COVID-19 virus variant, dubbed HV.1, has overtaken EG.5 (Eris) as the leading variant diagnosed in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest Oct. 28 report. HV.1 has risen from 1.1 percent in early August to 25.2 percent of COVID cases. Meanwhile, EG.5 declined from 24.3 percent on Sept. 30 to its current share of 21.9 percent within one month. HV.1 is responsible for an estimated 25.2 percent of all cases in the United States. (CDC) HV.1 Spreads Faster HV.1 is believed to have slightly better transmissibility than the previous dominant strain EG.5, as its binding affinity to the ACE2 receptor is modestly better than EG.5's, according to a recent analysis conducted by Peking University assistant professor Yunlong Cao and his team. Two more concerning strains are omicron subvariant HK.3 (FLip) and BA.2.86 (Pirola), which present much lower binding affinities.HV.1 More Easily Evades Vaccines HV.1 can further render the current COVID-19 vaccines ineffective, as it is even better able to escape vaccine-induced immunity than EG.5. This means none of the current COVID vaccines can induce any effective antibodies to bind HV.1. This results from the variant's key mutations F456L, L452R, F157L, and Q52H. These latest mutations indicate that the new omicron variants have developed cunning strategies to evade our manmade vaccines by explicitly targeting specific sites. By doing so, they may be able to partially or wholly escape the protective effects of vaccination, potentially leading to breakthrough infections among the vaccinated.


Respectfully, Clifford Brown, OD, MPH, FAAO(D) CAPT/USPHS (Ret) Director of Public Health Custer County

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