Covid Omicron XBB.1.5 Variant | Symptoms | Preventive Measures

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According to WHO data released in October, Covid omicron XBB.1.5 is prevalent in 35 countries worldwide, with a global prevalence of 1.3%.

After two years of worldwide devastation to the human healthcare system, Covid has again risen in the West. The virus has changed DNA drastically, causing mutations leading to a new variant known as ‘Covid Omicron XBB.1.5’. 

In contrast to other viruses, XBB.1.5 causes no more severe diseases than others.

However, many experts have warned the healthcare system to take essential measures as the virus is spreading rapidly and might infect vulnerable people, causing them to be hospitalized or even die, especially if they have not received their latest booster.

JP Weiland first reported the Covid Omicron XBB.1.5 variant in October 2022. 

A group of scientists and microbiologists then did laboratory tests and found that XBB.1.5 and its further variants are entirely resistant to antibodies in vaccinated people. 

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How fast is it spreading?

According to WHO data released in October, Covid omicron XBB.1.5 is prevalent in 35 countries worldwide, with a global prevalence of 1.3%.

Until now, the Omicron variant BF.7 has been widespread in China. But in America, the new omicron XBB.1.5 is in turmoil. The experts say that this variant is spreading rapidly. XBB.1.5 is spreading 100% more than BF variants. 

John Moore, a senior microbiologist and an immunologist at Weill Cornell Medical College, said, ‘It has been two years since we saw an outbreak of infections peaking in mid-January…And I expect the same this year also’.

The main reason XBB.1.5 is alarming is the increase in death rates compared to the previous two years. The new data reveals that XBB.1.5 consists of 41% of new cases in the U.S. 

The virus is spreading in the West and has also been reported in Asia, including Singapore. 

However, no significant number of people were hospitalized as the protective measures were taken seriously and proved highly effective. 

The first case in India has been reported from Gujrat. However, the experts are hopeful it wouldn’t be dangerous enough as most people are vaccinated. 

Symptoms Of Covid Omicron XBB.1.5

Covid XBB.1.5 doesn’t show prominent symptoms, but these could be the main symptoms of this new variant. 

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache, cold
  • Sneezing
  • Joints pain
  • Upper back pain 
  • Pain in the neck

Preventive Measures:

While vaccines remain the best way to protect against severe Covid, Sam Wilson, a professor of virology at Glasgow University, says taking standard precautions is also helpful. 

Where it is possible, taking voluntary steps to reduce transmission – reducing contacts, wearing high-quality masks, especially in crowded indoor settings, and isolating if you have symptoms – will help reduce the spread of the virus.

Wear a mask:  

  • You can protect yourself best from this new variant by wearing a high-quality mask whenever you are out or in a crowded area.
  • Experts say that wearing a mask lowers the chances of getting infected. 

Maintaining social distance: 

  • Maintain distance from people in crowded places. Specifically, stay away from people who are sneezing because covid has similar symptoms. 
  • It’s safer to avoid crowded areas and to cover your mouth.

Use hand sanitizer: 

  • Cleaning your hands frequently with sanitizer also helps prevent infection. 
  • Sanitize hands from time to time and wash hands before eating or touching your face. 

Keep doors and windows open: 

  • Due to the widespread Covid outbreaks, it is necessary to breathe fresh air. 
  • Keep your bedroom windows and doors open in the daytime.

COVID has already given a tough time to the world’s people, economy, and the healthcare system. Therefore, taking precautionary measures is better to stop this new variant from spreading rapidly.

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