A highly infectious new variant of Omicron skips vaccines and reinfection

The sick are in Shanghai about 18 million people

A new highly contagious variant of COVID-19 has appeared in Great Britain, Western media reported. The mutation, called XBB.1.5, now occurs in one in 25 cases on the Island. It has also caused alarm in the USA, where it is responsible for 4 out of 10 sick people in the country.

XBB.1.5, which is a variant of Omicron, has mutations that help it avoid protection from vaccination and previous illness. However, there is currently no indication that XBB.1.5 causes more severe disease. Experts explain that one of its mutations is thought to improve the virus’s ability to bind to cells.

Figures from the Sanger Institute in the UK show that 4% of cases in the week to December 17 were caused by XBB.1.5. It is derived from Omicron’s XBB variant, first unveiled in India in August. According to Professor Lawrence Young from Warwick University, the new type of virus is highly infectious and

leads to increase at the reception in the hospitals

in New York, especially among the elderly.

Long waits for accommodation are killing up to 500 people from coronavirus in Britain every week, health experts warn. The health service there cites a lack of staff and hospital beds as the reason.

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the new variant was responsible for 41% of cases there. Just a week earlier they were 22%.

According to epidemiologist Prof. Paul Hunter, most new variants disappear after a few weeks. However, the rapid increase in XBB.1.5. is alarming and could trigger another wave, he adds.

Microbiologist Dr. Simon Clark said that the ability of XBB.1.5. to evade immunity is observed only in the laboratory. “It’s hard to understand how it works in real life,” he notes. According to Clark, it will be interesting to track the situation in the coming months, as the usual annual wave of flu hospitalizations is usually highest in January and February. Professor Francois Ballou, an infectious disease expert in London, said cases of the new variant were likely to increase globally in the near future.

At the same time, China has admitted that the number of deaths from COVID in the country is high, and 70% of Shanghai residents are infected, or about 18 million people. The sharp rise in infections began after the strict policy to prevent the virus was abruptly ended last month. Health authorities said the country was seeing an increase in serious cases and deaths. However, in an attempt to play down the situation, they said the spike was similar to that in other countries. President Xi Jinping has admitted the mistakes of his strict COVID policy which

failed to control the virus

and sparked the country’s first mass protests in decades. However, his new strategy has led to an increase in cases, which are currently peaking. In the first 20 days of December, the government estimates that a staggering 248 million people – 18% of the population – contracted the virus in the country.


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