Omicron new subvariant XBB.1.5 accounts for over 60 pct of new COVID infections in U.S.

(Xinhua) 14:09, January 28, 2023

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Omicron's new subvariant XBB.1.5 is estimated to account for over 60 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the United States for the week ending Jan. 28, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

XBB.1.5 is spreading quickly in the United States. It made up 37.5 percent of the total cases in the week ending Jan. 14, and rose to 49.5 percent in the week ending Jan. 21, according to the CDC.

XBB.1.5 is currently the most transmissible variant in the country. The subvariant may spur more COVID-19 cases based on genetic characteristics and early growth rate estimates, according to the World Health Organization.

Another two dominant Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 accounted for about 30 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States in the latest week, CDC data showed.

The CDC this week published the first estimate of the updated COVID-19 booster shot's efficacy against XBB.1.5, finding that the shots are at least 40 percent effective against symptomatic illness from subvariants XBB.1.5 and XBB among fully vaccinated adults within three months of the shot's administration.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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