NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Around the U.S., COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise. New Mexico officials say they’ve been seeing an uptick as well due to a new variant.

New Mexico no longer tracks COVID-19 data as frequently as during the peak of the pandemic. But the most recent data, through September 2, shows a rising trend in hospitalizations over the last few months.

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Weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions data | Courtesy NMDOH.

While hospitalizations have been on the rise since summer, the numbers are nowhere near those reached last fall. In fact, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reported 57 hospitalizations for the week of September 2, 2023. At the same time last year, they recorded 148 hospitalizations in a week.

NMDOH says EG5 and FL.1.5.1 are the most common strains in New Mexico. Patients typically have symptoms like a sore throat, cough, congestion, and runny nose, NMDOH says. Unlike earlier strains, loss of smell and taste are less common with these new strains.

On Tuesday, September 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an updated booster shot. NMDOH says most public health offices will soon have the vaccine in stock. For location info, check the NMDOH website.