And Now, here comes COVID-19 version BA.2, BA.4, BA.5,...

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In summary, the BA.2 variant of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is now nearly a quarter of all COVID cases in the U.S., and is particularly prevalent in the Northeast. However, since the BA.2 variant is more transmissible than the BA.1 variant, many communities can relax since there is no evidence that the BA.2 lineage is more severe than the BA.1 lineage. CDC continues to monitor variants that are circulating both domestically and internationally.
  • #71

Bloomberg - Next Covid-19 Strain May be More Dangerous, Lab Study Shows​

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ng-term-infections-it-may-become-more-harmful

A South African laboratory study using Covid-19 samples from an immunosupressed individual over six months showed that the virus evolved to become more pathogenic, indicating that a new variant could cause more illness than the current predominant omicron strain.

The study, conducted by the same laboratory that was to first test the omicron strain against vaccines last year, used samples from a person infected with HIV. Over the six months the virus initially caused the same level of cell fusion and death as the omicron BA.1 strain, but as it evolved those levels rose to become similar to the first version of Covid-19 identified in Wuhan in China.

I don't know. I've heard possibly more infectious, but not necessarily more lethal, or injurious, but of course that depends on various factors.
 
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  • #72
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.19.22282525v3

Changes in population immunity against infection and severe disease from SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants in the United States between December 2021 and November 2022​

By November 9, 2022, 94% (95% CrI, 79%-99%) of the US population were estimated to have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 at least once. Combined with vaccination, 97% (95%-99%) were estimated to have some prior immunological exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Between December 1, 2021 and November 9, 2022, protection against a new Omicron infection rose from 22% (21%-23%) to 63% (51%-75%) nationally, and protection against an Omicron infection leading to severe disease increased from 61% (59%-64%) to 89% (83%-92%).

The 100%-Covid policy seems to be working perfectly.
 
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  • #73
LA County is reporting a surge in cases with COVID-19.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/me...mask-mandates-as-covid-cases-rise/ar-AA14PQuq

As of Dec. 1, Los Angeles County is averaging 2,490 new COVID-19 infections every day, the highest number recorded since Aug. 26, according to health department data.

Ferrer said the real count is likely much higher due to several people testing positive with at-home rapid tests and not reporting the results to health officials or due to people not testing at all.

Additionally, there are currently 1,164 residents hospitalized in the county due to the virus, which is the highest number of patients seen since Aug. 11.

New York State is seeing an increase in positive cases as well.
 
  • #74

Hospitalizations signal rising COVID-19 risk for US seniors​

Coronavirus-related hospital admissions are climbing again in the United States, with older adults a growing share of U.S. deaths and less than half of nursing home residents up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.

These alarming signs portend a difficult winter for seniors, which worries 81-year-old nursing home resident Bartley O'Hara, who said he is “vaccinated up to the eyeballs” and tracks coronavirus hospital trends as they "zoom up” for older adults, but remain flat for younger folks.

“The sense of urgency is not universal," said O'Hara of Washington, D.C. But "if you're 21, you probably should worry about your granny. We’re all in this together.”

One troubling indicator for seniors: Hospitalizations for people with COVID-19 rose by more than 30% in two weeks. Much of the increase is driven by older people and those with existing health problems, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers include everyone testing positive, no matter why they are admitted.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/hospitalizations-signal-rising-covid-19-145840832.html
 
  • #75
Politico reports - ‘The situation in the hospitals is grim’: States face brutal virus fallout
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/11/hospitals-states-virus-flu-covid-00073346
Nearly 30,000 people currently in the hospital have tested positive for Covid-19, up 30 percent since Thanksgiving.

State health officials are warning people that time is running out to get vaccinated before gathering with family over the holidays as Covid-19 cases surge nationwide alongside unseasonably severe waves of flu and respiratory syncytial virus.

And while the Omicron subvariants currently circulating are less lethal than previous variants, about 426 people are dying, on average, from Covid-19 each day — a nearly 62 percent increase from last week, according to the CDC.

In Louisiana, state health officials are recommending people consider getting tested before attending holiday gatherings.

In Mississippi, the state is down to 65 ICU beds and is now transferring some patients to other states, though Tennessee and Alabama have stopped taking out-of-state transfers.

In Arizona, hospitals have asked the state for additional resources, such as pediatric cribs.
 
  • #76
A neighbor ended up in the local hospital last week for a 5 day 'vacation.'
The first 2.5 to 3 days were in the Emergency Room because all the ≅ 350 beds were full.
The hospital serves a population of roughly 250,000.
 
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  • #77
I know I've mentioned nasal vaccines before as the best chance we have of reducing transmission and I found this nice article on medscape which addresses the issue's. There seem to be quite a lot in development.
Remember if you don't have access you can sign up for a free accounts.
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/983754
 
  • #78
Astronuc said:
In Louisiana, state health officials are recommending people consider getting tested before attending holiday gatherings.
Well, it may not worth much. I can't tell for other tests but ours turned positive only a few days later than the first (very indistinctive) symptoms started.
So far the whole thing feels like a rather straightforward cold, which then worsens with some sinus pressure.
That's with four jabs and one previous infection.

With this one it's very easy to slip up ☹️
 
  • #79
It now seems that multiple variants circulating at the same time is becoming the norm, one of the newer ones, the subvariant XBB seems to be increasing, this is apparently a recombination of two other Omicron variants, the first recombination seen so far. It seems to share many of the features of other omicron variants, its easily transmitted, resists many of the humoral antibodies induced by other variants but so far doesn't show increases in disease severity.
The medscape link (remember you can get a free account) covers the current situation in the USA.
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticl...lrt_pos1_ous_221229&uac=29315AJ&impID=5043039
This is the UK monitoring site which is interesting.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-variants-identified-in-the-uk-latest-updates
Then there is this which discusses the situation in the USA again but with a rather alarmist twist. Scroll down past the ads.
https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/xbb-covid-variant-presents-unique-threat-study
 
  • #80
Nearly half of the passengers on two recent flights from China to Milan tested positive for COVID-19, Italian health officials said on Wednesday.

About 38 percent of passengers on one flight into Milan’s Malpensa Airport tested positive for COVID-19, as did about 52 percent of those on a second flight, according to local officials in Italy’s Lombardy region.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/nearly-half-passengers-china-milan-190125286.html
 
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  • #81
No Covid test but not good, I don't have any tests left. Chest bad.
 
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  • #82
pinball1970 said:
No Covid test but not good, I don't have any tests left. Chest bad.
Best wishes.
 
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  • #83
Frabjous said:
Best wishes.
Thanks, bed for me.
 
  • #84
pinball1970 said:
Thanks, bed for me.
Get tested tomorrow so that you can get Paxlovid which has a time window. Make sure to take a list of drugs you are currently taking.
 
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  • #85
pinball1970 said:
Thanks, bed for me.
Feel better soon!
...And get a doctor... 😟
 
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  • #86
Rive said:
Feel better soon!
...And get a doctor... 😟
Cheers guys, lots of sleep. 36 hours of incessant coughing quite difficult. No Dr, no home visits. @Rive unfortunately.
Not so bad now.
 
  • #87
For samples of SARS-CoV-2 collected between December 4 -- December 17, 2022 from New York that are sequenced and uploaded into GISAID, 98.6% were the Omicron variant. During this time period 6.7% of sequences were lineage BA.2, 0.7% were BA.4, 9.7% were BA.5, 19.5% were BQ.1, 26.7% were BQ.1.1, 10.8% were XBB and 24.4% were XBB.1.5 .

Between December 19 and December 25, 2022 CDC’s program for HHS Region 2 (New York, New Jersey, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico) estimated 100% of samples were the Omicron variant. During this time period 0.1% of sequences were BA.2, 0.4% were BA.2.75, 0.1% were BA.2.75.2, 0.0% were BA.4, 0.3% were BA.4.6, 3.7% were BA.5, 0.4% were BA.5.2.6, 1.4% were BF.7, 0.2% were BF.11, 1.3% were BN.1, 19.9% were BQ.1, 22.1% were BQ.1.1, and 50.2% were XBB.
New York state reports about 30-35 deaths per day from Covid-19. All the states seem to be doing less detailed reporting, since earlier this year.

In my county, during December we had 12 deaths and a neighboring county reported 7 due to Covid. Looking at deaths from influenza and pneumonia, our county typically reports 15 to 20 deaths per 100k annually since 2007; from 1999 to 2007, the reported deaths from influenza and pneumonia decrease from a rate of 30 per 100k to about 20 per 100k, probably due to increased vaccination rates. For 2022, the county has reported 64 deaths per 100k from Covid alone, so in terms of mortality Covid is 3 to 4x deadlier than influenza and pneumonia combined.

Neither my wife or I have had a serious pulmonary/respiratory infection in the last three years, and probably five years; I had a case of influenza back in 2017, and case of 'walking pneumonia' (mycoplasma) in 2013. Except for one other person, my wife and I are the only two among our friends and family circles who have escaped Covid, so far. We are also among the few who wear N95 masks in public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it is tracking a new variant of concern dubbed XBB.1.5. According to new figures published Friday, it estimates XBB.1.5 makes up 40.5% of new infections across the country.

XBB.1.5's ascent is overtaking other Omicron variant cousins BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, which had dominated a wave of infections over the fall. Scientists believe its recent growth could be driven by key mutations on top of what was already one of the more immune evasive strains of Omicron to date.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-variant-xbb-1-5-cdc-tracking-us-cases/
 
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  • #88
Astronuc said:
New York state reports about 30-35 deaths per day from Covid-19. All the states seem to be doing less detailed reporting, since earlier this year.

In my county, during December we had 12 deaths and a neighboring county reported 7 due to Covid. Looking at deaths from influenza and pneumonia, our county typically reports 15 to 20 deaths per 100k annually since 2007; from 1999 to 2007, the reported deaths from influenza and pneumonia decrease from a rate of 30 per 100k to about 20 per 100k, probably due to increased vaccination rates. For 2022, the county has reported 64 deaths per 100k from Covid alone, so in terms of mortality Covid is 3 to 4x deadlier than influenza and pneumonia combined.

Neither my wife or I have had a serious pulmonary/respiratory infection in the last three years, and probably five years; I had a case of influenza back in 2017, and case of 'walking pneumonia' (mycoplasma) in 2013. Except for one other person, my wife and I are the only two among our friends and family circles who have escaped Covid, so far. We are also among the few who wear N95 masks in public.https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-variant-xbb-1-5-cdc-tracking-us-cases/
I checked out our stats from UK Health Security Agency as I do not know that many people close to me, who have not had some sort of respiratory infection in the last three weeks. Friends, family and work colleagues. Nothing jumped out tbh. All Covid tests negative of the ones who got tested (including me)

RSV, cases are down except over 65s.

https://www.gov.uk/government/stati...d-19-surveillance-reports-2022-to-2023-season.
 
  • #89
Hello quick question I read this post on reddit. Is it correct to believe that the worse your symptoms from the vaccine the worse your side effects to getting covid would be without vaccinated? What if you get the vaccines should you still be worried about covid if you reacted badly to the vaccine? Or is this just relevant to heart attacks from the vaccines?

I am a little worried now not because of the vaccines but because of the covid viruses.
 
  • #90
pinball1970 said:
Cheers guys, lots of sleep. 36 hours of incessant coughing quite difficult. No Dr, no home visits. @Rive unfortunately.
Not so bad now.
When I caught Covid in March and had a persistent cough afterwards (weeks later), my GP prescribed a 5 day course of Prednisone (two 20mg tablets daily) which seemed to do the trick.

But I'm gathering in the UK, to get ahold of a GP you need to go through a national phone number.... I would have thought you had a medical centre independent of the NHS.
 
  • #91
StevieTNZ said:
When I caught Covid in March and had a persistent cough afterwards (weeks later), my GP prescribed a 5 day course of Prednisone (two 20mg tablets daily) which seemed to do the trick.

But I'm gathering in the UK, to get ahold of a GP you need to go through a national phone number.... I would have thought you had a medical centre independent of the NHS.
Yes after a bad chest infection a few years ago salbutamol was not taking effect. Prednisone did the trick. I cannot remember if I was already on steroids at that point.
My review with the Dr was supposed to be today (NW UK) but I got call yesterday from reception saying the Dr was off Ill with a chest infection!
Nothing now till the 25th Jan.
You can ring the GP for emergency prescription but no call outs due to my location. NHS 111number is next port of call.
Our NHS is still very stretched.
 
  • #92
jimmy4554564 said:
Hello quick question I read this post on reddit. Is it correct to believe that the worse your symptoms from the vaccine the worse your side effects to getting covid would be without vaccinated? What if you get the vaccines should you still be worried about covid if you reacted badly to the vaccine? Or is this just relevant to heart attacks from the vaccines?

I am a little worried now not because of the vaccines but because of the covid viruses.

Reddit is not a valid source for a citation. Can you find the published article this is based on?
 
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  • #93
pinball1970 said:
Reddit is not a valid source for a citation. Can you find the published article this is based on?
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.061025
Then somehow in the reddit post it jumps to severity of covid vaccine reaction = to severity of getting covid.
Or am I misreading the comments in the posts or are people just speculating in the post. Thanks
 
  • #94
jimmy4554564 said:
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.061025
Then somehow in the reddit post it jumps to severity of covid vaccine reaction = to severity of getting covid.
Or am I misreading the comments in the posts or are people just speculating in the post. Thanks

The study is looking at individuals with free spike protein in the plasma and cardiac symptoms verses a control group with neither.
Both groups vaccinated.
People on here more qualified to comment but from memory the stats were something like 1/100,000 vaccine related accidents expected. Not deaths necessarily. That data is probably out of date now.
@BillTre @atyy
 
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  • #95
pinball1970 said:
Our NHS is still very stretched.
Before my nurse left for Canada in May, she said the health systems around the world are all suffering. Even in NZ our health system is stretched. If things aren't done to improve it now, I dare not think what things will be like when winter arrives this year....
 
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  • #96
jimmy4554564 said:
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.061025
Then somehow in the reddit post it jumps to severity of covid vaccine reaction = to severity of getting covid.
Or am I misreading the comments in the posts or are people just speculating in the post. Thanks
Some more digging on this – from the UK, worth a read.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...ination-guidance-for-healthcare-professionals

Also this from the lancet.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)00842-X/fulltext

Majority of cases appear to be mild (see below) and rare, approx. 1-2 per 100,000. Any follow up studies I come across I forward a link

“The clinical presentations of myocarditis after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination have been predominantly mild and few patients have required intensive treatment.9 However, one case-series, published in 2022, of adolescent patients found a persistence of radiographic abnormalities at follow-up examinations, which could be cause for concern.11 However, the patients followed up had excellent clinical outcomes, suggesting minimal chronic morbidity attributable to vaccine-associated myocarditis. Nevertheless, the continuous surveillance of this patient group for any increased frequency of heart failure, sudden death, or related cardiac comorbidities is necessary.”
 
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  • #97
jimmy4554564 said:
Hello quick question I read this post on reddit. Is it correct to believe that the worse your symptoms from the vaccine the worse your side effects to getting covid would be without vaccinated? What if you get the vaccines should you still be worried about covid if you reacted badly to the vaccine? Or is this just relevant to heart attacks from the vaccines?

I am a little worried now not because of the vaccines but because of the covid viruses.

Its currently considered that the myocarditis associated with Covid vaccination reflects a particular type of immune activation that can occur following a lot of infections and vaccinations. Its a useful reminder about the state of our knowledge about our immune system prior to Covid 19 that we still don't know why Covid 19 appears so good at invoking this, but its still a rare reaction. I haven't seen any research attempting to link this specific adverse effect to the others seen after vaccination that reflect a broader inflammatory reaction. It may have been the publicity following the death of a well known athlete that brought this issue to public attention and increased surveillance as these serious outcomes are extremely rare. In all types of myocarditis physical exertion increases risk and we still don't know if the deaths are associated with previous undiagnosed pathology. In the great majority of cases this sort of myocarditis recovers quickly with rest and it is much more likely following actual infection rather than vaccination. Its interesting that this adverse event was not recognised in the UK despite the early start of the vaccination program there. They started with the astra zenica vaccine which appears far less likely to cause this problem, introduced vaccination based on age and risk, again the elderly being less at risk and then introduced a longer gap between the 1st and 2nd dose which again reduces risk
The people most at risk are the people that we would expect to have a rapid immune response, young adults, particularly males, the mRNA vaccines appear to stimulate a rapid antigenic response and this is increased if the vaccine doses are given closely together. This provides lots of info.

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/9/10/1186
 
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  • #98
The good news is the worst appears to be over from the RSV surge that has been making life miserable for many children and their parents. RSV cases have been falling steadily since the end of November, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the same time, the flu — which also came roaring back this fall after mostly disappearing for the previous two years — looks like it's finally receding in most places, according to the latest data out Friday from the CDC.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health...-covid-omicron-subvariant-spreading-fast-data
The rate at which the coronavirus is being detected in wastewater, which has become a bellwether for the pandemic, has tripled or quadrupled in many parts of the U.S. in recent weeks, Jha says. COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped 70%, he says. And 300 to 400 people are dying every day from COVID-19 (in the US).

To make matters worse, all this is happening as yet another new, even more transmissible variant has taken over in the United States. Called XBB.1.5, this new omicron subvariant was barely on the radar in late November. But according to new estimates released Friday by the CDC, XBB.1.5 now accounts for almost a third of new infections and is the dominant variant in the Northeast.
New York state is still reporting ~30+/-5 deaths per day from SARS-Cov-2, but deaths from RSV and influenza are rare.

Health officials in Monroe County, for example, say they've confirmed two RSV deaths and 238 hospitalizations so far this year, among nearly 2,300 cases. Both deaths involve people over the age of 65, the health department said, though infants account for the most dramatic surge in RSV-linked hospitalizations, as is expected with this illness.
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/hea...s-new-york-death-how-long-contagious/3957573/

Older folks (65+) likely have comorbidities that make them particularly vulnerable to influenza, RSV and SARS-Cov-2 infections.
According to the CDC, each year RSV leads to about:
  • 2.1 million doctor visits among kids younger than 5
  • 58,000 hospitalizations among kids younger than 5
  • 177,000 hospitalizations among adults aged 65 and up
  • 14,000 deaths among adults aged 65 and up
  • 100 to 300 deaths in children younger than 5
From November last year
https://www.npr.org/2022/11/02/1133040571/rsv-questions-answers-treatment-options
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/health/rsv-children-vaccines.html
 
  • #101
The Guardian reports "Britain’s excess death rate is at a disastrous high – and the causes go far beyond Covid"
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opin...nd-the-causes-go-far-beyond-covid/ar-AA16nkeZ
how else to describe the tens of thousands of bodies avoidably piling up in the nation’s mortuaries? One funeral home worker says that they’ve run out of spaces for the deceased and “are having to keep some encoffined in office rooms”; another hospital porter reports that the mortuary has been near capacity for two weeks. This national issue should be splashed on every front page and leading every bulletin. It isn’t: why?
 
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  • #102
With 68% of the UK overweight or obese that causes hypertension/heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease covid can be very serious. And unlike public health polices , the individual has control of personal health.

https://www.healthexpress.co.uk/obesity-statistics-uk
 
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  • #103
morrobay said:
With 68% of the UK overweight or obese that causes hypertension/heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease covid can be very serious. And unlike public health polices , the individual has control of personal health.

https://www.healthexpress.co.uk/obesity-statistics-uk
We are at 160 deaths per reporting day (every other day) so about 80 per actual day.

We are officially in flu season and this time last year we were higher 296 deaths per reporting day.

@Astronuc
Owen Jones is too political for me on the whole, one eye hand reporting the numbers with his other hand doing something else.

(that is as far as I will risk it!)

The lancet recently posted this on line

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(22)00384-6/fulltext

Representations of the different variants.

https://www.thelancet.com/cms/10.10...55ffc73f-eb19-4d55-b863-988d1c151589/mmc1.pdf
 
  • #104
I haven't looked at statistics in about a month, but the rates seem very low.

Meanwhile - new variants persist.
https://fortune.com/well/2023/03/31...orld-health-organization-xbb116-omicron-wave/
XBB.1.16, dubbed “Arcturus” by variant trackers, is very similar to U.S. dominant “Kraken” XBB.1.5—the most transmissible COVID variant yet, Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 technical lead for the WHO, said earlier this week at a news conference.

But additional mutations in the virus’s spike protein, which attaches to and infects human cells, has the potential to make the variant more infectious and even cause more severe disease. For this reason, and due to rising cases in the East, XBB.1.16 is considered “one to watch,” Van Kerkhove says.

It’s a warning we’ve heard before about other Omicron spawn—XBB.1.5 in particular. The variant, which rose to prominence late last year and early this year, elicited warnings that it could cause more severe disease, based on new mutations it had developed.

If Fortune's article is unavailable, then try Yahoo's version
‘Arcturus,’ a highly transmissible COVID variant eyed by the WHO, appears to have a new symptom.
https://news.yahoo.com/finance/news/arcturus-highly-transmissible-covid-variant-004116935.html

XBB.1.16 was added to the WHO’s list of variants under monitoring just recently, on March 22. COVID surveillance is at an all-time low. But so far, the bulk of cases have been identified where the new variant was first spotted, in India—one of the few countries where recorded COVID cases are on the rise, according to the WHO.

In the US -
From reported sequences, we know that the variant has also been spotted in the U.S.—in California, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Washington, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, Indiana, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Delaware, to be precise.

A descendant variant, XBB.1.16.1, has also been seen in Nebraska, Missouri, and Michigan.

XBB.1.16 is a recombinant of two descendants of so-called “stealth Omicron” BA.2. A preprint study updated Sunday from scientists at the University of Tokyo suggests that it spreads about 1.17 to 1.27 times more efficiently than relatives XBB.1 and XBB.1.5, also known as "Kraken," which currently dominates U.S. cases.

XBB.1.16’s increased ability to outpace other variants suggest that it “will spread worldwide in the near future,” researchers wrote, adding that the variant is “robustly resistant” to antibodies from a variety of COVID variants, including “stealth Omicron” BA.2 and BA.5, which surged globally last summer.
 
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  • #105
As if we aren't fatigued by this virus - according to Reuters and the CDC, CDC is monitoring yet a new variatnt
https://news.yahoo.com/us-cdc-tracks-lineage-virus-020734444.html

The lineage is named BA.2.86, and has been detected in the United States, Denmark and Israel, the CDC said in a post on messaging platform X.

The new lineage, which has 36 mutations from the currently-dominant XBB.1.5 COVID variant "harkens back to an earlier branch" of the virus, explained Dr. S. Wesley Long, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist.

I was still on Eris - Covid Eris: What to know about new variant EG.5 dominating U.S. cases
https://www.reuters.com/world/what-is-eris-new-covid-variant-2023-08-14/https://abcnews.go.com/Health/cdc-tracking-new-covid-lineage-ba286-after-detected/story?id=102366828
 
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