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why you should be wary of the XBB.1.5 subvariant

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Yasmina Kattou, edited by Alexandre Dalifard
06:19, January 17, 2023modified to

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10:53 a.m., January 17, 2023

Omicron’s XBB.1.5 subvariant, predominant in the United States, is the most transmissible subvariant of Covid-19 and threatens to become the dominant strain in Europe. For the moment, the American experience shows that this variant is not more dangerous, but its high contagiousness could have dramatic consequences.

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The Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant, which is predominant in the United States (82% of cases), is to date the most transmissible subvariant of Covid-19 and threatens to become the dominant strain in Eastern Europe. within one to two months according to the European Union health agency ECDC. For the moment, the American experience shows that this variant is not more dangerous than the previous ones, but its high contagiousness could have dramatic consequences, in particular on mortality.

Indeed, mathematically if there are more people infected, more patients are likely to die from Covid. Especially the most fragile regret Antoine Flahaut, epidemiologist. “It’s not good news at all for people who are very immunocompromised, for people who are very old. Because these waves, as we know, unfortunately take lives.”

Contamination peaks

The high contagiousness of the XBB 1.5 sub-variant has another consequence: it leads to contamination peaks. The more people infected, the greater the risk of creating a new variant. “The new variants are selected because they are more transmissible than the previous ones. So we can already predict that the variant of the 11ᵉ or the 12ᵉ wave, since we may indeed have a 10ᵉ in a few weeks with this North American variant, will be even more powerful in terms of transmissibility”, underlines the epidemiologist.

To prevent a new, more virulent variant from appearing, the epidemiologist recommends wearing a mask in closed places and airing the rooms at least ten minutes every hour.

Source: Europe1

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