Symptoms of the new ‘nightmare’ covid variant, XBB

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The BA.5 variant of omicron and their respective lineages are currently the most present in covid infection within Spain, a situation that also occurs in the rest of the world. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the lineages of interest BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are growing rapidly due to their greater contagion capacity, and it is estimated that will exceed 50% of infections in Europe by the end of November or beginning of Decemberbut it is also true that the development of the disease continues to be much milder than with previous variants.

The ‘nightmare subvariant’ coming from Singapore

About a month ago it was identified the XBB, also an omicron mutation, which created some alarm in East Asia, especially in Singapore. The ‘New York Times’ revealed that it was called the ‘nightmare variant’, for the virulence of certain disorders derived from contagion. However, the number of cases and hospital admissions associated with it had already dropped significantly on October 29, according to a health report from the government of this country.

The mutations are potentially associated with a greater escape from vaccines and previous immunization by contagion, though the latest ones administered to the population (so-called bivalents) are proving effective against the most frequent and consolidated lineages of omicron, and have also shown promising results with XBB. In addition to the ‘nightmare’, the BA.4.6 or BF.7 have turned out to be more elusive. The XBB was identified for the first time at a scientific level in August, although it did not begin to be talked about on a massive scale until October; this protein has seven new mutations along the spike.

The ‘nightmare subvariant’ that is not so bad

In Singapore they expected the peak of those infected by XBB these days, once the new infections were subsiding. World Health Organization (WHO) also issued a reassuring message at the end of October regarding the seriousness of XBB infectionsciting that no substantial changes were observed with respect to other sublineages, although it did seem to be more contagious.

According to the latest report from the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center published this past Monday, November 14 by the Ministry of Health, among the lineages the following stand out: BA.2.3.20, BA.2.75.2, CA.1, BR.2, BN.1, BM.1.1.1, BU.1, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB and the only ones that have been detected so far in percentages greater than 1% in Spain are BA.4.6 and BF.7.

XBB symptoms

The symptoms are similar to those of the previous subvariants, being more common the cough, sore throat, fatigue, malaise, diarrhea, stuffy and runny nose, headache, fever, muscle aches, choking or loss of taste and smell. In addition, in the last identified lineages of omicron and According to the immunologist and professor Alfredo Corell, three new symptoms have been detected: loss of appetite, hoarseness and tachycardiawhich were not as frequent symptoms in the previous omicron subvariants.


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