About our XBB.1.5 news
Latest news on XBB.1.5, a subvariant of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. It was first detected in the United States in October 2022 and has since spread rapidly in some regions. It is also called 'Kraken' by some scientists who noticed its fast growth².
XBB.1.5 is a recombinant virus, meaning it is a hybrid of two other Omicron subvariants, BA.2.1 and BA.2.3. It is believed that these two strains infected one person and merged to form XBB.1.5, which then acquired additional mutations. One of these mutations, F486P, is thought to enhance its ability to bind to human cells and evade immunity.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called XBB.1.5 the most transmissible Omicron strain so far. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), XBB.1.5 accounted for 75% of COVID-19 cases in the US as of mid-February 2023, up from less than 2% in December 2022. However, there is no evidence yet that XBB.1.5 causes more severe disease or reduces the effectiveness of vaccines or treatments than other Omicron strains.