According to statistics released on Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron XBB.1.5, a subvariant that is now responsible for more than 40% of COVID-19 cases in the country, has doubled in prevalence from the previous week, Reuters reports.
However, infectious disease specialists have been growing more concerned about the Omicron XBB.1.5 variation despite the rising COVID cases in China being of worry to many public health professionals.
In addition, Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, noted that the Northeast is home to seven of the ten states in the United States experiencing an upsurge in XBB cases and hospitalizations.
For the week ending December 31, XBB and XBB.1.5, recombinants of the BA.2 variation, jointly accounted for 44.1% of all cases in the nation. For the week that concluded on December 24, XBB.1.5 accounted for 21.7% of all cases.
The difference between the previous two years and this year, according to John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, is that the death rates have not increased much.
Cases of the XBB subtype have increased in certain Asian countries, including Singapore. This week, it made up 3.6% of all cases in the U.S., down from 4.2% the week before. Starting this week, the agency started submitting data for the two subvariants individually.
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