The last known subvariant of omicron with a high incidence of covid-19 infections He has the sea monster nickname, Kraken, although his technical name is XBB 1.5. She is the most contagious of those known to date. Kraken comes from Scandinavian mythology, and refers to a giant squid, which appeared in the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ as a ‘pet’ of Davy Jones, the terrible captain of the ‘Flying Dutchman’. In medicine is the cause of the largest wave of infections of the aforementioned disease in the last two years, and was detected last October in the United States. Too it has appeared notably in 30 other countries around the world, and has been detected in many more. Specifically, the variant has been detected in European countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, France, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.
World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that symptoms are very similar to other subvariants of omicronsimilar to those of the common cold, and that the infections are not serious in a high percentage. The XBB 1.5 is an evolution of the XBB, detected in the United Kingdom in September of last year. What worries experts is the F486P mutation of the so-called Kraken, which restores the ability to overcome the human body’s defenses and infect cells.
Now The percentage of covid-19 cases generated by XBB 1.5 in the United States stands at 40%: It is the dominant cause right now, when just a month ago it only accounted for 4% of cases. Hospitalizations for this reason have also risen, especially among the most vulnerable people due to age or previous conditions, especially those related to low immunity.
Last Friday, January 6, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that It is likely that the XBB.1.5 variant of the coronavirus is resistant to the drug ‘Evusheld’ against covid-19which was marketed by the British laboratory AstraZeneca. Evusheld was the last antibody of its class still licensed in the United States to prevent infections in high-risk people.since the rest of the drugs had been discarded due to the high probability that they did not protect against new variants.
Symptoms with XBB 1.5
As the WHO has already clarified, they are very similar to those of the previous subvariants of omicron:
- Sore throat.
- extreme fatigue.
- Runny and stuffy nose.
- Headache and joints.
- Occasional loss of taste and smell.
Covid infections in the month of February
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) does not expect the XBB.1.5 subvariant to increase covid-19 cases in Europe during the month of Februarysince it is currently “at very low levels”. “There is a risk that this variant could have an increasing effect on the number of covid-19 cases in the EU, but not in the next month, as the variant is currently only present at very low levels.“, has highlighted the European body through a statement.
This Monday, January 9, the Ministry of Health updated the epidemiological situation of the variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain. The report highlights that the lineage XBB.1.5, whose percentage has registered an increase in recent weeks in the United States (it would have exceeded 25% in the first week of January), has been detected in a timely manner to date in Spain. On December 8, the recombinant lineage XBB was designated as a variant of interest.
The Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Service of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital has detected this Tuesday the first case sequenced in the Community of Madrid of the XBB1.5 variant of covid. This is a 63-year-old man with flu-like symptoms for five days, vaccinated with three doses of vaccine against covid-19 and with no travel history, who is progressing well and has not required admission. This is the fifth case in Spain.