What is Omicron XBB.1.5 Variant Of COVID 19 Which Is Recently Detected In India?
Fresh variants of the Covid-19 virus are raising alarms in many countries besides China. Although many public health experts are expressing concern about the rising Covid cases in China, infectious disease experts have been increasingly worried about the XBB.1.5 variant. Recently, a case of Omicron XBB.1.5 variant of COVID 19 which is rapidly spreading in the US, is detected in India. Scientists have noted that XBB.1.5 spread could surge in the coming days as the holiday travel would be on due to the year end.
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Why XBB.1.5 Variant Of COVID 19 Is In News?
India has confirmed its first Omicron’s XBB.1.5 case in Gujarat in December, as per Insacog data.
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Background Off Omicron XBB Variant In India
- The variant XBB was first identified in India in August 2022. It quickly became dominant there and in Singapore.
- Since then two more of its subvariants, XBB.1 and XBB.1.5 have been found.
- Scientists and public health officials have been closely monitoring the XBB subvariants for many months now.
|Did You Know?
Prior to departure, all overseas travellers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand to India are now required to submit RT-PCR reports. It will also be necessary starting on January 1, 2023 to upload a report to the Air Suvidha webpage.
What Is XBB.1.5?
- As per scientists, the original BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was combined to create XBB.
- Its descendant, XBB.1.5, has a tighter bind to the ACE2 receptor, which is why it has increased levels of transmissibility.
Cases Related To XBB.1.5 in the US
As per the data results published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, XBB.1.5 now represents about 41 per cent of new cases in the US, especially in New York.
The cases have reportedly nearly doubled over the past week, when its prevalence was 21.7 per cent.
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Why XBB.1.5 Variant Is A Matter Of Concern?
- The Omicron subvariants XBB.1.5, BQ.1.1, BQ.1, BA.5 and XBB are causing almost all Covid-19 infections at present in different countries, according to data shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Scientists have said that of all these, the XBB.1.5 variant is highly immune evasive and appears more effective at binding to cells than related subvariants.
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Summary Points About Omicron XBB.1.5 Variant Of COVID 19
- A novel recombinant strain called XBB.1.5 is more immune evasive and more contagious than BQ and XBB variations.
- The XBB1.5 outperformed the BQ1 version by 108%. But as more data became available, XBB1.5 continued to improve and is currently 120% quicker. It spreads more quickly than Omicron BF does.
- The BQ.1 and the BQ.1.1 sub-variants are no longer the most often found coronavirus alterations, having been replaced by the XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant.
- A recombinant of two sub-variants that evolved from the BA.2 omicron subvariant produced the XBB subvariant, from which XBB.1.5 descends. This indicates that it has genetic material from two coronavirus variants that descended from the BA.2 subvariant.
- India is where the omicron sub-variants XBB and XBB.1 were originally discovered. Some researchers have suggested that XBB.1.5 might have mutated in New York.
- Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that the highly contagious Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant is now to blame for over 40% of COVID-19 cases in the country.
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