New COVID-19 variant spreading in Tennessee. What are the symptoms of KP.3?
New COVID-19 variant spreading in Tennessee. What are the symptoms of KP.3?


Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that COVID-19 infections are increasing in most parts of the U.S. According to the CDC, infections are increasing or likely to increase in 39 states and territories, including Tennessee.

No states or territories showed signs of declining or likely declining COVID rates. Infections were stable or uncertain in 10 states and territories, the CDC said.

The CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker shows COVID-19 variant projections. Since May, the prevalence of JN.1 has steadily declined, while cases of KP.3 and KP.2 have increased. For a two-week period beginning June 22, 2024, and ending July 6, 2024, KP.3 is the leading variant in the country, accounting for 31.3% of infections.

Local data reflects data at the national level.

In Region 4 – which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina – the KP.3 variant led the way, accounting for 34.3% of infections. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 53 new COVID-19 cases were reported on June 27, 2024.

According to CDC spokeswoman Rosa Norman, KP.3 evolved from JN.1, the main virus lineage in circulation since December 2023.

“KP.3 is estimated to be the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant, accounting for 31.2% to 43% of all viruses nationwide,” Norman said in a statement to USA TODAY. “KP.3 is expected to continue to increase as the proportion of variants causing COVID-19 continues to grow.”

Here you can find out what you need to know about the KP.3 variant.

What is the KP.3 variant?

According to the CDC, KP.3 and KP.2 are descendants of the JN.1 variant. KP.3 belongs to a group of SARS-CoV-2 variants sometimes called FLiRT variants, named after the technical names of their mutations. Other FLiRT variants have also been identified as circulating in the U.S., but they are not yet as widespread as KP.3 or KP.2, according to the CDC.

What are the symptoms of the KP.3 variant?

As previously reported by USA TODAY, the CDC has not said whether KP.3 has its own specific symptoms. Norman said the symptoms associated with KP.3 are similar to those of JN.1.

According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Possible symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • Muscle or limb pain
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC recommends seeking immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Persistent chest pain or pressure
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake
  • Pale, grey or bluish skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Diana Leyva covers breaking news and service journalism for The Tennessean. Reach her at [email protected] or follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, at @_leyvadiana.

By Liam