Over 6,000 new covid cases were reported in India in the last 24 hours. The Omicron variant XBB.1.16 is thought to be to blame for India’s sudden increase in covid cases.
The World Health Organization is keeping a close eye on the Covid subvariant XBB.1.16. On March 22, it added XBB.1.16 to its list of variants under surveillance.
“In India, XBB.1.16 has replaced the other variants that were previously in use. So keep an eye on this one “During a press conference on March 29, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, stated.
Individuals infected with Covid subvariant XBB.1.16 have headaches, body pains, sore throat, gastrointestinal discomfort, and a 1-2-day fever.
Every day, India sees an increase in COVID-19 cases, with 6,050 new cases reported on Friday, a 13% increase from the 5,335 cases reported on Thursday.
“The XBB 1.16 subvariant has a high infectivity rate and is highly transmissible. The subvariant has mutations in the amino acids and nucleotide space that allow it to avoid hybrid immunity conferred by vaccination and prior virus exposure “According to Dr. Charu Dutt Arora, Infectious Disease Specialist and Consultant Physician at AmeriHealth Asian Hospital.
XBB.1.16: Signs and symptoms
Thus far, the following symptoms have been observed: fever that gradually climbs and lasts for 1-2 days, sore throat, bodily soreness, headaches, and stomach discomfort.
XBB.1.16 in the US
In some countries, the new SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant XBB.1.16 has resulted in an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. The dominant variant in the United States is still XBB.1.5, but health officials say other variants are on the rise.
According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, XBB variants 1.9.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5.1 are on the rise in the United States. Several states have also identified the new XBB 1.16 variant.
According to Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for COVID-19, XBB 1.16 has been circulating for a few months.
XBB.1.16 in the India
COVID-19 cases with the new variant XBB1.16 have been on the rise in recent years, causing concern for the country’s medical system and the general public. According to the most recent Union Health Ministry update, the country currently has 10,981 active cases, with Andhra Pradesh reporting 35 active cases.
“The XBB1.16 variant is an Omicron sub-variant that is highly transmissible but does not cause any serious health problems,” said Dr. K. Rambabu, Director of Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences. The variant is not very symptomatic, and it is causing light fever with some mild cough and cold. Hospitalization may be necessary in one out of every 100 cases, but the transmissible rate is concerning, he noted.
According to Van Kerkhove, the strain is related to XBB.1.5, which is prevalent in the United States.
“It has one additional mutation in the spike protein, which in lab studies shows increased infectivity and potential pathogenicity,” Van Kerkhove explained.
Although XBB.1.16 has been identified in the United States, it does not yet appear on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s variant tracker.
The subvariant is just one of more than 600 omicron subvariants that WHO is tracking.