A new sub-variant of Omicron is wreaking havoc in the US amidst the deteriorating situation due to the BF.7 variant of Omicron in China-Japan. Omicron's XBB.1.5 variant has added to the woes in the US, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday. This sub-variant is believed to be the main reason for more than 40 percent of corona cases in America at this time. Compared to last week, cases of infection due to this variant have increased by two times. Scientists say that this may be more problematic than all the sub-variants of Omicron so far.
Meanwhile, the first case of infection with the XBB.1.5 variant has also been confirmed in India. According to the report of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), the first case of this new variant has been reported in Gujarat. The way the situation has been seen deteriorating in New York due to this, keeping in mind such danger, India also needs to take special precautions.
Know about the XBB.1.5 variant
There are reports of worsening situation in many parts of the US, especially in New York due to infection with the XBB.1.5 variant. Scientists have found in preliminary studies that it has arisen from new mutations in the XBB sub-variant, the nature of which is worrying in many cases.
Andrew Pekoz, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University, explains that XBB.1.5 differs from other members of its family because it appears to have an additional mutation that may help it better bind to cells. In such a situation, it can develop serious diseases by growing rapidly in the body along with being more contagious.
Scientist Yunlong Richard Cao at Peking University said that it may be successful in dodging the immunity created by the vaccine, so the new variant needs to be taken seriously.
There is also a risk of serious diseases in the event of infection, says virologist Andrew Pekoz, the virus's ability to bind helps it infect people more easily. Reports from New York show that the rate of hospitalization of infected people has also increased here, which makes it clear that this sub-variant can not only kill people faster than other variants so far. Not only this, the risk of developing serious diseases is also high.
Scientists have been warning about mutations in the XBB sub-variant
The XBB sub-variant first observed in India originated from two other variants (recombinations of BA.2.75 and BA.2.10.1). In the studies conducted on this, scientists had not only alerted about its seriousness and infectiousness, but also expressed the possibility of mutation in it.
In a study published in the journal Cell earlier this month, scientists at Columbia University warned that mutations in the XBB-sub-variant could further reduce the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. It can increase the risk of infection as well as serious diseases.
What is the threat to India from this?
According to Covid reports, apart from one case in Gujarat, there is currently no confirmation of this new sub-variant from any other part of the country. Officials monitoring the corona cases in Maharashtra say that there have been more than 275 cases of the XBB sub-variant here, although this new sub-variant is yet to be confirmed. The way the situation has worsened due to infection in America, India also needs to be careful about this danger.
Health experts say, its effect should not be much in India because people here have been cured after getting infected by the XBB variant of the same family, and most of the people here have also taken primary and booster doses. However, looking at its nature, it is very important to be strict about prevention from Covid.