A brand new Omicron variant is rapidly expanding throughout the U.S. just in time for the new year.
The strain, dubbed XBB.1.5 is responsible for nearly 41% of COVID-19-related cases in the United States as per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The XBB mutation has increased significantly in the last week, as it’s increased from 21% just the day before Christmas.
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The week ending December 2022 XBB.1.5 comprised 75.3 percent of COVID-19 cases in the northeastern states.
The states that are included comprise Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The study found that in New York and New Jersey New Jersey and New York, the strain was seen in 72.2 percent of cases in the final week of the year.
XBB is now officially replacing the previously controversial BQ.1 as well as BQ.1.1 variants as being the more prevalent strains.
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Experts on infectious diseases are getting more concerned regarding this “highly contagious” Omicron XBB variant as reported by Reuters.
“Ironically, probably the worst variant that the world is facing right now is actually XBB,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, an expert in infectious diseases of the University of Minnesota, told Reuters.
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Weill Cornell Medical College professor of immunology and microbiology John Moore pointed out that the past two winters have witnessed large rises in infection rates that reached their highest at mid-January.
“Probably the worst variant that the world is facing right now is actually XBB.”
“And I expect the same to happen this year,” the expert from New York declared.
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