A World Health Organization report on risk assessment was published on Wednesday. The report said that the omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant does not have any mutations. As a result, it cannot make people sicker when they catch the virus.
But, WHO has noted in the report that it does not hold any real-world data. So, it is not clear how XBB.1.5 is affecting covid patients’ health. As a result, the WHO cannot draw any conclusions at the present.
What Does Who Say About XBB.1.5 Covid Subvariant
However, the WHO claims that XBB.1.5 is one of the Covid subvariants. And it is most adept at avoiding immunity from infection or vaccination. This new subvariant is as immune evasive as any other subvariant in its family. For example, XBB.1, which was the Covid variant, avoided antibodies that block infections.
The WHO further said that XBB.1.5 has a growth advantage in the U.S. Particularly, this in the Northeast in the U.S.A, where it was already dominant. XBB.1.5 can cause cases to increase worldwide. But, it is difficult to know correctly at present. The organization said it needs more data on the fast spreading of XBB.1.5 in other countries.
In The Words Of The Covid-19 Technical Lead Of WHO, Maria Van Kerkhove
The Covid-19 technical lead of WHO, Maria Van Kerkhove, said that XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible to date. Plus, scientists believe that it has a growth advantage. This is because it is highly immune and evasive. Also, it binds better to human cells. Thus, it is making it more infectious.
Van Kerkhove further said that it is the most transmissible subvariant. During a press conference on January 4 in Geneva she commented further on the covid health issue. She said that the reason to worry is the mutations within the subvariant of omicron. The Omicron subvariant allows the virus to adhere to the cell and replicate easily.
Covid XBB.1.5 Subvariant At The Present
XBB.1.5 subvariant is showing fast growth in the U.S. at present. Here, Disease Control and Prevention presented data. The data show that new covid rose from about 2 percent of cases in December to about 28% of cases in January. Especially it is causing about 70% of new Covid cases in the Northeast in the USA.
Full-drawn data on how well the vaccines can hold up against XBB.1.5 is currently unknown. Lab studies indicated other variants in the XBB family. These subvariants are adept at evading the antibodies. Even these evade antibodies that are generated by vaccination with the omicron boosters.
In General, Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines are still preventing hospitalization. But, public health officials in the U.S. emphasized that it is particularly important for elderly people to stay up to date on their vaccine shots to prevent covid.