Omicron XBB Variant
Just when people were finally breathing a sigh of relief and enjoying the festivities to the fullest, there were reports of yet another Covid variant, Omicron XBB variant, a recombinant of the previous sister variants BA.2.75 and BJ.1.
What is XBB Variant?
Like any other viral strain, Covid-19 too keeps on mutating and evolving into a more virulent, transmissible, and devious strain. XBB variant originally belongs to the Omicron lineage, scientifically termed BA.2.10, and is a combination of the previous sub-variants BJ.1 and BA.2.75. With limited information regarding this new sub-strain of Omicron, it is believed that the Omicron XBB variant has a growth advantage over the prior BA.2.75 and intense immune evasive property, which enables it to easily surpass the natural immunity of the general population.
The symptoms of the new virus COVID-Omicron XBB are the following:
• common cold
• sore throat
• body pain.
Cough and respiratory symptoms are also present in infected patients.
People are also presenting with abdominal symptoms such as • stomach pain
• loose motions
COVID-Omicron XBB is 5 times more virulent than the Delta variant and has a higher mortality rate than it.
It takes less time for the condition to reach extreme severity and sometimes there are no obvious symptoms.
Let’s be more careful!
This strain of the virus is not found in the nasopharyngeal region and directly affects the lungs for a relatively short period of time.
Several patients diagnosed with Covid-Omicron XBB were classified as afebrile and pain free, but x-rays showed mild chest pneumonia.
Nasal swab tests are often negative for Covid-Omicron XBB, and cases of false negative nasopharyngeal tests are increasing.
This means that the virus can spread in the community and directly infect the lungs, causing viral pneumonia, which in turn causes acute respiratory distress.
This explains why the Covid-Omicron XBB has become something very contagious, highly virulent and lethal.
• Caution, avoid crowded places, keep a distance of 1.5 m even in open spaces, wear a double-layer mask, wear a suitable mask, wash hands frequently, even if everyone is asymptomatic (no coughing or sneezing)
• Everyone is advised to wear a mask because the new variant of the COVID-Omicron XBB coronavirus is different, deadly and not easy to detect correctly.
• Maintain vigilant communication with your friends and family.
• Do not keep this information to yourself, share it with other family members and friends.
Can XBB Strain Lead To Another Wave In A Few Weeks?
With the current statistics in hand and the festive season in full swing, there is a high chance of an upgrade in the positive cases in the next 3-4 weeks owing to a huge number of gatherings and little to no travel restrictions all over the world. But as of now, the positive cases of the XBB variant are approximately 7% of overall infections, with BA.2.75 being predominantly reported as the major causative strain.
But, then again, if precautions are not carefully obeyed, XBB can lead to infections in previously vaccinated and infected individuals in no time. However, with mild to moderate symptoms reported in recently diagnosed individuals with the Omicron XBB variant, the hospitalization rate and severity of illness is still low as of now.
This wave of Covid-Omicron XBB is deadlier than the first wave of Covid-19. So we have to be very careful and take several reinforced precautions against the coronavirus.
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