WHO: New Omicron Subvariant XBB.1.16 Is ‘One to Watch’ | Well being Information

WHO: New Omicron Subvariant XBB.1.16 Is ‘One to Watch’ | Well being Information

The World Well being Group on Wednesday stated that it’s monitoring XBB.1.16, an omicron subvariant that has been documented largely in India.

“We’re monitoring it as a result of it has potential modifications that we have to hold a superb eye out on,” Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, stated at a press convention.

The pressure has been reported in 22 international locations, with the vast majority of instances coming from India.

“In India, XBB.1.16 has changed the opposite variants which are in circulation,” Van Kerkhove stated. “So that is one to look at.”

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WHO: New Omicron Subvariant XBB.1.16 Is ‘One to Watch’ | Well being Information

India is seeing a rise in coronavirus instances. In accordance with WHO, India is experiencing the best proportional enhance in infections of its area, reporting over 10,500 new instances over the previous 4 weeks in comparison with almost 3,000 infections in the course of the earlier 4 weeks.

The subvariant has been circulating for a couple of months, Van Kerkhove stated, noting that it doesn’t seem to trigger extra extreme illness.

“We have not seen a change in severity in people or in populations, however that is why we’ve these programs in place,” she stated. “Methods to trace the virus variants, international collaborations to evaluate transmissibility, immune escape, severity and the influence of any of our interventions together with diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”

In accordance with Van Kerkhove, the pressure is just like XBB.1.5, which is dominant within the U.S.

“It has one extra mutation within the spike protein, which in lab research reveals elevated infectivity in addition to potential elevated pathogenicity,” Van Kerkhove stated.

XBB.1.16 has been documented within the U.S. however doesn’t but seem on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s variant tracker.

The subvariant is only one of greater than 600 omicron subvariants that WHO is monitoring.

“One of many issues we’re very involved about is the potential for the virus to alter to grow to be not solely extra transmissible however extra extreme,” Van Kerkhove stated. “So we’ve to stay vigilant.”