What is XBB.1.5, the rapidly spreading Covid variant?

Scientists and health
experts alarmed

Covid variant XBB.1.5 is the latest strain of coronavirus that is causing alarm among scientists and health experts around the world

United States one of the
worst hit by XBB.1.5

XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible subvariant of the already highly contagious omicron strain and has caused a surge in Covid cases in the United States

Detected in multiple
countries

XBB.1.5 has been detected in over 28 other countries worldwide including India, Denmark, France, Germany, and the UK

XBB.1.5 in India

India's tally of Covid variant XBB 1.5 is currently 8 with cases detected in Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan

Increased transmissibility
of XBB.1.5 is concerning

There is no indication that the severity of the variant has changed, but the increased transmissibility is a cause for concern

WHO monitoring the
spread of XBB.1.5

The World Health Organization is monitoring the variant and conducting a risk assessment with the help of laboratory studies and real-world data

Vaccine still the best bet

Covid vaccines continue to protect against severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death, against many Covid variants

Symptoms to look out for

Common symptoms for XBB.1.5 include sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny nose, muscle aches, body pain and an altered sense of smell

Preventative
measures important

It is important to remain vigilant and take preventative measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and handwashing to help mitigate the spread of XBB.1.5

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