All you need to know about the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant

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Omicron XBB.1.5 is now responsible for over 40% of Covid-19 cases in the United States, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This variant has caused concern among experts, with Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, stating that "probably the worst variant that the world is facing right now is actually XBB."

Here is all you need to know about XBB.1.5

  • Virologist Eric Feigl Ding called XBB.1.5 a 'super variant', the 'next big one', which is causing a surge in hospitalisation in New York.
  • XBB.1.5 is a new recombinant strain and is both more immune-evasive and better at infecting than BQ.1 and XBB, the virologist said adding that it is not 'typical Omircon', but a special recombination mixture variant that is further mutated.
  • The R-value of XBB.1.5 is much worse than the previous variants.
  • According to data, XBB.1.5 is 120% faster than BQ.1
  • "XBB.1.5 is likely an American-originated recombination variant that is 96% faster (worse) than old XBB. The XBB.1.5 popped up in the New York area in October and has been causing trouble," the virologist tweeted.
  • All US states where XBB.1.5 is dominant are witnessing a surge in hospitalisation leading to the explanation that this variant is behind the increased rate of hospitalisation.
  • In the UK too, XBB.1.5 is spreading fast.