As winter weather starts to take over the country, there are fears about a new subvariant of COVID that is starting to spread rather rapidly.
The new strain is called XBB.1.5.
Health professionals are starting to grow concerned about the mutation and high infection rates they are starting to see around the country.
Time to Worry?
At the top of the list of concerns for health professionals is that this new strain is not susceptible to natural immunity or vaccination. It is also very contagious.
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel stated that there are two subvariants with which we need to be concerned: XBB and XBB.1.5.
The 1.5 version is the more contagious of the two, specifically because it is has the ability to get a strong grip on the host. Siegel stated, "The spike proteins are like suction cups. So, the more it can get a grip … the more easily it transmits from cell to cell."
Dr. Shad Fani Marvasti, associate professor and director of public health and prevention at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, stated that these new subvariants are evolving to the point of being more effective in terms of infection than their predecessors.
He added that we can take solace in the fact that there is often a tradeoff as these variants develop. For instance, while the variant may be more "sticky" than its predecessor, it may also be less virulent.
He added, "And that can be both a function of the evolution of the virus … and also the fact that more people have been exposed to the virus through either vaccination boosters or previous infections."
On the new variant, Siegel stated, "If it's spreading like wildfire and it's not killing more people, that means it's less virulent. But we don't know the reason for that."
Now, I am no medical expert, but spreading like wildfire is not so much of a problem if the virus is less lethal, at least in my eyes. I think most of us would agree having something that is more contagious but is not nearly as deadly as the original strains is one hell of a tradeoff that we are willing to make.
Source: Fox News