Home / News / India /  Covid-19 new variant: ‘Transmissible, immune evasive, fatal’, says top scientist

A top US scientist has revealed how fast the new variant of coronavirus has transmitted around the world. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist said that the US government agency-the CDC--ignored the threats of the new variant, responsible for the high rate of hospitalisation.

Ding said the XBB.1.5 variant of coronavirus has its root in the northeast US, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has "cowardly" refused to admit it.

"CDC knowe XBB.1.5 was significantly greater than 1% and surging for weeks. they did absolutely nothing to warn the public," Ding wrote on Twitter.

He added that across four US states where XBB.1.5 variant is dominant have witnessed a surge in hospitalisation rate.

According to him, the new variant is, "one of the most evasive variants against immunity (high escape) and fusion with human cells (high ACE2 binding)—a worst of both worlds".

Besides, the XBB.1.5 Covid variant also has higher human cell ACE2 binding that bestows higher cell infectivity, he added.

Ding said that XBB.1.5 is a super variant because, "among most immunity-evasive ‘escape variants’ to date; One of the best variants for invading human cells via ACE2; spreads much faster than old XBB or BQ, and causes hospitalisations wherever dominant".

The XBB subvariant, from which XBB.1.5 descends, is a recombinant of two subvariants that descended from the BA.2 omicron subvariant. That means it carries genetic data from two versions of the coronavirus that originated from the BA.2 subvariant.

"NEXT BIG ONE—CDC has royally screwed up—unreleased data shows #XBB15, a super variant, surged to 40% US (CDC unreported for weeks!) & now causing hospitalization surges in the northeast. XBB15–a new recombinant strain—is both more immune evasive & better at infecting than BQ and XBB," he wrote.

Regionally, XBB.1.5 accounts for the majority of Covid-19 cases in the northeast, identified as causing 75% of cases in New England and the New York tri-state area, it added.

However, in India, only a few cases of this new variant have occurred. Last week, a high-level meeting of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya with the senior health officials regarding the emergence of Omicron's new sub-variants concluded with the decision to continue masks and Covid-appropriate behaviour across the country.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout