Home / News / World /  India reports its first case of XXB.1.5 Covid variant: Report

India has reported its first case of Omicron variant ‘XXB.1.5’ which is responsible for the surge in coronavirus cases in New York. The first case of XXB.1.5 has been confirmed in Gujarat, as per ET reports.

More than 40% of Covid-19 cases in the United States are now caused by Omicron XBB.1.5, the unreleased data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed. Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding provided the information on his official Twitter handle. 

According to Eric Feigl-Ding, the new variant is more immune evasive and better at infecting than BQ and XBB. He said multiple models shows that XXB15 variant is much worse in transmission R value and infection rate than previous variants. 

"Ironically, probably the worst variant that the world is facing right now is actually XBB," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, in an interview with Reuters.

Osterholm added that seven of the 10 U.S. states where cases and hospitalizations are rising are in the Northeast, concurrent with an increase of XBB cases there, he said as quoted by Reuters. 

Recombinants of the BA.2 variant, XBB and XBB.1.5, together accounted for 44.1% of the total cases in the country for the week ended December 31. For the week ended December 24, XBB.1.5 had made up 21.7% of the total cases, Reuters reported. 

The XBB variant has been driving up cases in parts of Asia, including Singapore. It accounted for 3.6% of the total cases in the U.S. this week compared with 4.2% in the previous week. The agency began reporting data for the two subvariants separately from this week.


(With inputs from Reuters)

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