The latest COVID-19 variant, XBB1.5, is the latest COVID-19 subvariant to be detected by the CDC and WHO. XBB1.5 is a subvariant of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The newest strain is said to be moving through the country rapidly, doubling in cases nearly every two weeks, and within a short amount of time, it can be expected that XBB1.5 will make up the majority of new COVID-19 cases in early 2023.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, called the new strain “the most transmissible subvariant that has been detected yet,” during a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday.
According to the New York Post:
XBB.1.5 has spread quickly across the northeastern US and accounts for about 41% of confirmed COVID cases across the nation, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, warned that the number of people infected with XBB.1.5 has doubled in the US about every two weeks.
“The reason for this is the mutations that are within this subvariant of Omicron allowing this virus to adhere to the cell and replace easily,” she said.
Perhaps worst of all, the vaccines can be considered less effective than they were before, as XBB.1.5 is also extremely prone to dodging antibodies and is believed to bind even more tightly to cells.
Fortunately, similar to previous strains of COVID that we’ve seen since 2020, the death rate XBB1.5 also points to this new strain of the virus being more of the same – extremely low and only should be considered a major health risk to those with multiple preexisting conditions.
However, as the virus continues to spread and cases inevitably increase throughout the coming winter months, it’s unknown how Democrat leads will respond. It can likely be assumed that in California and New York, there will at least be discussions in regard to reinstituting a mask mandate.
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