New aggressive corona variant discovered in Austria Health

"super variant" Omikron XBB.1.5 on the rise

In the US, a large proportion of new corona infections can be traced back to the newly known variant XBB.1.5. It might be easier to transfer.

More recently, the massive wave of CoV infections in China caused a worldwide sensation. In the massive wave of infections in China, according to officially unconfirmed internal estimates, 248 million people or 18% of the population were infected with corona in the first three weeks of December.

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It is normal for viruses to mutate

Subvariants of the omicron variant continue to circulate around the world, and “we’re seeing omicron doing what viruses do: picking up mutations along the way that help it evade immunity induced by previous infection or vaccination,” said Andrew Pekosz, a microbiologist. and an immunologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “We haven’t seen huge leaps forward in Omicron development for some time, but it’s slowly getting to a stage where we need to keep watching.”

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How dangerous is XBB.1.5?

More than 40% of Covid-19 cases in the US are now caused by Omicron XBB.1.5, as confirmed by unpublished data from the US health authority CDC. Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding posted the information on his official Twitter. The data shows that XBB.1.5 was 108 percent faster than the previous king variant BQ1. But with more data, XBB.1.5 continued to accelerate and is now 120% faster, he adds. Feigl-Ding dubbed Omicron XBB.1.5 the “Super Variant” and the “Next Great Variant” due to its highly contagious nature and immune to evasion. The XBB15 variant first appeared in the New York area in October. India has also reported its first case of XXB.1.5.

So far, there is no evidence that XBB.1.5 causes more severe disease than other omicron viruses, said Dr. Barbara Mahon, director of the CDC’s Division of Coronaviruses and Other Respiratory Viruses, told NBC News. Although the number of Covid hospitalizations is increasing across the country, areas such as the Northeast, where the new variant is prevalent, have not seen a disproportionate increase in hospitalizations.

XBB.1.5 is a relative of the omicron variant XBB, which is a recombination of the omicron subvariants BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75. Together, XBB and XBB.1.5 account for 44% of cases in the US, replacing other Omicron versions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), XBB has been found in at least 70 countries.

Better Immune Escape vs. immunity

Much is still unknown about the latter subvariant, including whether and how it is more contagious than other forms of omicron. Laboratory studies have found that XBB is able to evade antibodies from previous Covid infections or vaccines, meaning someone exposed to the virus is more likely to become ill or be reinfected and experience symptoms. “It’s clear that XBB evades the immune system,” said Dr. Isaach Bogoch, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at the University of Toronto. “This has been demonstrated both in laboratory studies and clinically in cases and hospitalizations. Given the high level of immunity in the US population – whether from infection, vaccination or both – Bogoch and others expect that even if the number of cases increases significantly, will not see a dramatic increase in hospital admissions or deaths as seen in previous waves.

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Do Covid vaccines work against XBB.1.5?

Covid vaccines have been shown to remain effective in preventing serious illness and death from the virus. “We could certainly catch a wave, but it’s much less likely to be as deadly or as overwhelming to the health care system as previous waves before we had this level of immunity,” Bogoch said.

Experts agree that booster vaccination with the bivalent vaccines is more important to boost the immune system against the newer subvariants. Risk groups, in particular, are invited to receive reinforcements.

bivalent vaccines target the omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 and the original coronavirus.

A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that new Covid boosters from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech increase antibody responses to many omicron subvariants, including the XBB variant. While the new booster isn’t perfect, it does offer additional protection than what was seen with the original or boosters.

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