The general public is being asked to remain alert and consider wearing masks in crowded areas. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Pirola, the new variant of COVID, is already dominant in the Balearics, according to the IB-Salut Balearic health service.

Both BA.2.86 and its subvariant JN.1 have also been detected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) this week classified the latter as a “variant of concern”, but stressed that it does not pose a major threat to public health.

IB-Salut has specified that Pirola was detected on the islands in October and has now become the dominant variant, surpassing Kraken, which has been the most common over the last year and all of them are derived from Omicron.

The specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Joan Carles March, explained that this new variant is more contagious, but less aggressive.

The Balearics begin administering the combined vaccine against COVID-19 and influenza on October 16.
This has resulted in few people being admitted to hospitals in the Balearics for COVID.

IB-Salut has pointed out that there is no longer daily monitoring of infections and antigen tests are limited to the most vulnerable patients or those admitted to hospitals, so it is impossible to know the real situation.

However, the WHO has warned that “with the arrival of winter in the northern hemisphere, JN.1 could increase the number of cases of respiratory infections in many countries”.
It is therefore continuously monitoring the evidence and will update its assessment of the risks posed by JN.1.

The agency has also noted that the current coronavirus vaccines, which are being injected this season in conjunction with influenza vaccines, continue to protect against the new train.
The WHO also stressed that COVID-19 is not the only respiratory disease circulating, as influenza, RSV and common childhood pneumonia are on the rise.

It has therefore urged the general public to take appropriate measures to prevent infection and disease.
One of the most effective and simple measures is to wear a mask when there are crowds of people or when in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated areas, as well as keeping an adequate safety distance.

Covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, washing your hands frequently and reducing contact when you are ill are other keys to reducing the risk of contagion.

Pirola has symptoms similar to those reported with other mutations of the virus.
Nasal congestion
Loss of taste and smell
Throat discomfort
Muscle aches