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The Newest COVID Variant, HV.1, is here and this is what you should know.

A new variant of COVID-19 known as HV.1 is now the dominant strain in the United States.

This highly transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus is emerging as the holiday season begins, which will see millions traveling throughout the country. The U.S. is entering the worst of respiratory virus season at a time when very few Americans are getting new booster shots.

The three most prominent symptoms of this variant include congestion, sore throat and dry cough. While similar to other COVID-19 variants, HV.1 spreads quicker and starts with a runny nose, leading to a persistent cough.

The only way to distinguish the new strain from other respiratory viruses or influenza is through testing. All U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved COVID-19 tests will detect the HV.1 strain. The best way to prevent a severe COVID-19 infection is vaccination. There is still time to order free at-home COVID test kits for your household. Your order of COVID tests is completely free – you won’t even pay for shipping. Order now at


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months and older get an updated COVID vaccine and this year's seasonal flu vaccine. The Illinois Public Health Association and the Illinois Primary Health Care Association recommend eligible people stay current with their COVID-19 vaccination to protect themselves and loved ones this holiday season.

Community Health Workers help communities understand the continued danger of COVID-19 and urge all eligible people be vaccinated. They work to increase confidence in vaccination and educate community members with reliable healthcare facts, including that the COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be administered at the same time.

The holiday season can be exciting and stressful for many people, but make sure to focus on the greatest gift of all: health. For information on where to receive a COVID-19 or flu vaccine, please visit




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