Just when we thought that the infernal scourge of the coronavirus pandemic was banished to the annals of history, the World Health Organization has provided us with a somber update on the global pandemic.
After nearly three years of apocalyptic living, the world seemed to believe that we had COVID under control, or at least manageable. But with China opening the floodgates via the end of their “zero COVID” policy, there are now concerns about a new variant arriving on the scene, and it might be the most transmissible yet.
The new XBB.1.5 variant of COVID is the “most transmissible” yet detected, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official has warned.
The variant, which is a sub-variant of Omicron, is confirmed to be spreading in 25 countries, including the UK and US.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, told a press conference on Wednesday: “It is the most transmissible sub variant that has been detected yet.
“The reason for this are the mutations that are within… this sub variant of Omicron, allowing this virus to adhere to the cell and replicate easily.
The new variant is already affecting parts of the United States.
“And we are concerned about its growth advantage, in particular in some countries in Europe and in the US in North America, particularly the northeast part of the United States where XBB.1.5 has rapidly replaced other circulating variants.”
Scarier still: Over 40% of all cases in the US are currently comprised of the XBB 1.5 variant, which could become a rather prolific spreader with cold weather continuing to blanket the nation, forcing Americans indoors and into close proximity with one another.