Why XBB.1.5 — the latest Omicron offshoot — could ‘outcompete’ other COVID-19 subvariants – CBC

Subvariant rising rapidly in U.S., identified in 25 countries including Canada

Jan 05, 2023

It’s been a year since Omicron burst onto the scene, spiking COVID-19 case counts to new heights and dramatically changing the trajectory of the pandemic.

Since then, the variant has spawned a family of highly transmissible cousins. Some have fuelled rolling waves of infections; others largely disappeared.

Most recently, multiple mutated versions of the original Omicron seemed locked in a delicate dance for dominance.

In the U.S., there’s now a likely winner: XBB.1.5.

The Omicron offshoot is rising rapidly south of the border, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control projects it will soon hit roughly 40 per cent of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, surveillance data in the U.K. suggests it represents 1 in 25 COVID-19 cases, and could eventually become the next dominant strain.

The situation in Canada is more murky, given delays in data collection from across the provinces over the holidays.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/omicron-xbb-1-5-1.6703384

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