COVID XBB.1.5 more likely to infect the vaccinated: Study cautions

  • We do not know yet whether XBB.1.5 may cause more severe disease, the study said
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine — including the updated booster — is still the best way to protect yourself, it added

Livemint
Updated17 Jan 2023
Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now accounts for 73% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in NYC.
Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now accounts for 73% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in NYC.(HT_PRINT)

The XBB.1.5 is the newest COVID variant that is creating havoc worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently notified that 38 countries have reported XBB.1.5 cases, of which 82% have been reported in the US, 8% in Britain and 2% in Denmark. A new study has revealed, the variant is more likely to infect people who have been vaccinated or already had COVID-19. Here is all you need to know.

The XBB.1.5 strain is a relative of the Omicron XBB variant, which is a recombinant of the Omicron BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 subvariants. Combined, XBB and XBB.1.5 make up 44% of cases in the US.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) the subvariant is currently spreading 12.5 percent faster than other variants in the US.

The subvariant accounted for about 30% of cases in the first week of January, which is higher than the 27.6% the CDC estimated last week, the Reuters reported.

More likely to infect vaccinated

A recent study by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible form of COVID-19 that we know of to date and may be more likely to infect people who have been vaccinated or already had COVID-19

Further urging all to get vaccinated and boosted, it further said, "We do not know yet whether XBB.1.5 may cause more severe disease. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine — including the updated booster — is still the best way to protect yourself from hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including from these new variants."

Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now accounts for 73% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in NYC.

Total of 26 cases found in India

INSACOG data showed on Monday, a total of 26 cases of COVID's XBB.1.5 has been found in India so far. The variant has been in 11 states and Union territories till now, including Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal. The XBB.1.5 is behind the massive surge in COVID cases in the United States.

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