WHO warns of New ‘Kraken’ XBB.15 Covid variant

Last night, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for Covid, issued a warning that the variation is raising concerns among physicians.

We are concerned about its growing advantage, especially in several nations in Europe and the US, and especially in the Northeast region of the US, where XBB.1.5 has quickly displaced other circulating varieties.

According to the monitoring centre, data from the Sanger Institute indicates that the strain may be to blame for up to half of all Covid cases in the Wirral, one of the hardest-hit locations.

The BQ.1 strain, which is a descendant of the BA.5 strain and a direct ancestor of the initial Omicron variant that surfaced last winter, is the most prevalent strain in the UK.

Sir Stephen Powis, the medical director of the NHS, forewarned that BQ.1 would “force additional rises” in hospitals before it took over in November.

The Kraken strain might increase cases if it takes control, but top experts warned it is unlikely to “signal a new disaster.”

Experts have issued a warning as cases of the “Kraken” strain have nearly doubled in the US in a week, with a high incidence of infections being recorded in New York.

The variation, which was initially discovered in India in August, has acquired new mutations that improve its ability to evade immunity and make it “more infectious,” according to Prof. Francois Balloux of the UCL Genetics Institute.

It is expected to become more common internationally and might account for a sizable portion of cases in the near future, he continued.

The University of Nottingham’s Prof. Jonathan Ball, a virologist, asserted that there is “no proof it’s more harmful” than present strains.

“It may be able to avoid antibodies, but that isn’t our sole line of defence.

He said, “Our immune system is used to adjusting to infections.

It has already been established that the Omicron strain is kinder than its predecessors.

Many people in the UK have already received some kind of protection from the bug due to the massive vaccination campaign.

In light of the XBB1.5 variation, Professor Lawrence Young from the University of Warwick stated on Wednesday morning that we should be “keeping a watch” on Covid instances in the UK.
It’s significant because it’s spreading so quickly. We are currently observing a plethora of various Omicron types, and in fact, it is what is causing Covid to proliferate throughout this country.

In fact, near the end of December, the number of cases with this specific variant in the US more than doubled in a week, which is why we’re quite concerned. “This particular variety is remarkable in that it’s spreading so fast,” he added.

Symptoms of XBB.1.5?

Although no official information has been released detailing the new variant’s infection symptoms, many of its early symptoms ought to be comparable to those of earlier strains as it is an offshoot of Omicron.

According to the Zoe symptom app these include:

runny nose
fatigue (mild or severe)
sore throat

According to the most recent NHS statistics, 4,128 patients have the flu and 9,459 individuals have Covid.

One in every eight available ward beds, or 13,587, is taken up by this number.

Nine million Britons have not yet received their Covid booster.

If you qualify, you may schedule a Covid-19 appointment at a vaccination clinic or pharmacy online using the NHS website.

Medical professionals have advised Brits to use facemasks if they are feeling ill due to the spike in cases and the strain on the NHS.

Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser, advised sick Britons to “attempt to stay home while ill” and “wear a face covering” if they had to leave the house.

Dr. Belinda Griffiths of The Fleet Street Clinic advised using “common sense” when using masks in general.

“There should be no reason to wear a mask if you are healthy and fit, and if you have no close contacts who are known to have the flu, a cold, or Covid.”

People who are unwell should be urged to stay at home and work from there, but if that is not an option, she advised wearing a mask “out of common politeness.”

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