February 2, 2023

Meet the new variant of omicron, XBB.1.5

The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately affected millions of people, but for the time being, in a more peaceful scenario, the world is expected to be more True. However, new variables are still emerging and people are getting restless again.

This is the situation new variable, called XBB.1.5. In Brazil, there are still no reports of this, but in November last year two more omicron sublineages were discovered: XBB.1 and CK.2.1.1.

Pay attention to this new variable and do your due diligence

XBB.1.5 is an offshoot of the omicron variant, which is currently dominant in the world. People who already have it have symptoms similar to those of a the cold.

According to the research, XBB.1.5 evolved from XBB, which went into circulation in the UK in September 2022.

XBB.1.5 has a mutation known as F486P that restores the ability to bind to cells, Wendy Barclay, a professor at Imperial College London, reports. However, it can also negatively affect the immune defense, which is why it can spread more easily.

She also says that the virus has evolved and ended up finding other ways to circumvent the body’s defense mechanisms.

In the United States, for example, more than 40% of cases are XBB.1.5, and thus, this variant has already become dominant in the country, overtaking previous omicron mutations. Hospitals have already started taking more XBB.1.5 victims, and the government has reinstated free testing programmes.

When it comes to the UK, the scenario is different. According to Professor Barclay, there are no indications that XBB.1.5 will overcome the protection against severe forms of the disease provided by the vaccines.

For Professor David Heymann, it would be difficult for a sub-factor to cause significant problems in countries with high vaccination rates. However, in countries like China, the situation is already more alarming, as there is low acceptance of vaccines and little natural immunity.