Representation. Omicron's BA.2 subvariant is harder to detect due to genetic changes.
FLiRT and FLuQE are subvariants of JN.1, which is a variant of Omicron.

FLuQE, a new subvariant of the Covid virus, which is highly infectious and poses an increasing risk of infection, is on the rise across the globe and in Australia, health experts have warned.

Though FLuQE has similar ingredients of the recent FLiRT virus, its extra mutation makes it more contagious, increasing risk of infection, as updated vaccination has been lagging, ABC News reported. FLiRT and FLuQE are subvariants of JN.1, which is a variant of Omicron.

Earlier this year, FLiRT virus had caused a wave of infections across the world, including Australia, leading to a large number of infections and hospitalizations.

Paul Griffin, an infectious diseases physician and clinical microbiologist at the University of Queensland, said the mutations of these variants show that the virus undergoes changes fast.

"South Australia has led the charge, but in most parts of the country we've already transitioned to the next one after FLiRT," Griffin added.

University of South Australia biostatistician Adrian Esterman warned that as FLuQE virus could evade immunity systems, it poses a high risk of infection, reported.

He added the elderly population was at a greater risk of being infected, as only 40% of elders and aged care residents have received booster shots.

Esterman said the new vaccine based on FLiRT variant, which may render immunity against FLuQE, will be made available in Australia at the end of this year.

However, Griffin pointed out that the efficiency of vaccines could decline as the iterations of the coronavirus changes.

The symptoms of FLuQE are similar to COVID-19, such as fever, difficulty in breathing, cough, nausea or diarrhea.