Omicron XBB.1.5 doesn’t have mutations known to make people sicker

A man takes a Covid-19 test at a mobile Covid-19 test site as people line up at Times Square in New York City, on December 6, 2021.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu agent | beautiful pictures

The XBB.1.5 omicron sub-variant does not have any mutations known to make people sicker when they contract the virus, according to a report. Risk assessment of the World Health Organization fourth publication.

But WHO noted in the report that it doesn’t have any actual data on how XBB.1.5 affects the health of patients, so they cannot draw any conclusions at this time. on the severity of the minor variant.

WHO says XBB.1.5 is one of the Covid sub-variants best at evading immunity from vaccination or infection. It is also immune-evading like another sub-variant in its family, XBB.1, which is the Covid variant that best evades antibodies that block infection.

The global health organization says XBB.1.5 has a growing advantage in the United States, especially in the Northeast, where it quickly becomes dominant. According to WHO, XBB.1.5 could cause an increase in cases globally but it is difficult to know for sure since most of the data comes from the US. The organization said it needed more data on the spread of XBB.1.5 in other countries.

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Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Covid-19 technical team leader, last week said XBB.1.5 is The most contagious Covid sub-variant to date. Scientists believe it has a growth advantage because it is highly immunogenic and binds more closely to human cells, making it more infectious.

“It’s the most contagious sub-variant that has been detected,” Van Kerkhove told reporters during a January 4 press conference in Geneva. “The reason for this is that the mutations in this sub-variant of the omicron allow the virus to attach to the cell and multiply easily.”

In the US, XBB.1.5 is the only sub-variant showing significant growth right now. It increased from about 2% of cases in early December to nearly 28% in the first week of January, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is causing more than 70% of new Covid cases in the Northeast.

Currently, data on vaccine effectiveness against XBB.1.5 are limited, although this sub-variant is thought to cause more breakthrough infections. Laboratory studies have shown other variants in the XBB family have been shown to be adept at evading antibodies produced by vaccination with omicron enhancers.

Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines generally still prevent hospitalizations and deaths. However, public health officials in the United States have emphasized that it is especially important for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, to update their vaccinations to prevent severe illness.

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