January 5, 2023

New COVID Strain Increases Fears As China's Case Numbers Soar

Chinese health leaders are working to identify new COVID variants as case numbers continue to soar across the country.

Recent reports have highlighted more than 130 subvariants of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

"Over the past three months, China has detected over 130 sublineages of Omicron, including BF.7, a variant incredibly adept at evading immunity and believed to be behind the current surge in infections," the New York Post reported.

"Xu Wenbo, head of the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, said last week that China plans to track the virus centers around three city hospitals in each province. There, samples will be taken from sick walk-in patients as well as from patients who die," it added.

"The XBB.1.5. sub-variant of COVID-19 is a newer version of the omicron variant that is the virus's dominant strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," reported.

"The variant is considered more transmissible than its earlier counterparts because it can attach itself to cells better," it added. "The XBB.1.5. variant makes up 40.5% of U.S. cases as of the week ending Dec. 31, 2022, according to CDC estimates."

So far, the new variant is responsible for about 75% of the recent COVID cases found in the northeastern part of the U.S.

The variant is also spreading rapidly across China, as well as some other Asian countries.

Scientists are unaware of the origin of the new subvariant, but it has quickly become one of the most common, quickly spreading according to recent case counts.

Many Americans are concerned that the pandemic's impact may be far from over as the new cases are leading some places to reintroduce mask mandates and other social distancing rules from 2020.

Source: New York Post

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