A ‘new class’ of the Omicron variant – XBB or Griffon – is attracting a lot of attention amid reports of infections in India, including in Maharashtra. “XBB is on the rise, causing 20 to 30 per cent infections in some states like Maharashtra,” said a scientist who is part of the country’s Sars-CoV-2 sequencing consortium. To recall, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was reported from South Africa to the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 25, 2021. On November 26, 2021, WHO named this edition as B.1.1.529. omicron,
A hybrid or a recombinant of two strains of the BA.2 form of Omicron (Sublineages BJ.1 and BA.2.75), XBB is currently “spreading efficiently in Singapore”, says Thomas Rousseau, MD, professor and professor of infectious disease. The leading University at Buffalo in New York told Prevention.com that variants of this new class include BQ.1.1, BQ.1, BQ.1.3, BA.2.3.20 in addition to the XBB.
Notably, reports suggest that the variant was first detected in India in August 2022, and has since been detected in more than 17 countries, including Bangladesh, Denmark, India, Japan, according to Singapore’s health ministry. and the US are included.
In a recent bulletin, the Maharashtra Health Department mentioned that the XBB variant reported in the state had ‘BA.2.75 and enhancement benefit on immune degenerative property’. So, should we be worried? Here’s what the experts suggest.
as an extension of Omron Variants, XBB really shows that genomics is now capable of capturing a wide variety of viruses. “Ultimately, we have to assess the impact of this – is it causing more illness and hospitalizations or any other warning signs to indicate any surge?” Dr Ravindra Mehta, Senior Pulmonologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore said.
Stating that at present there is no data to validate this, the expert said that one should keep a close watch so that it does not enter. “As of now, it does not seem so, but we have to continue our vigil with all these forms. Fortunately, India has also geared up towards genome surveillance which will help in identifying such new variants,” said Dr Mehta.
Experts say that the XBB variant does not exhibit increased severity, however, it has the potential to spread quite rapidly.
While it is unknown “how aggressive the XBB variant is”, said Dr Navneet Sood, senior consultant and clinical lead, Dharamshila Narayan Superspeciality Hospital, “it is more permeable and is able to infect Ba.5”. . “Emerging diversions are becoming more permeable and able to be bypassed” Immunity, Since a significant portion of the population has developed immunity, either through vaccination or infection, the virus must mutate in order to survive. However, it does not result in severe cases or hospitalization,” Dr Sood indicated, adding that “XBB exhibits symptoms that make it superior to all other subtypes.”
Following reports of cases in other states like Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, state departments have urged people not to ignore flu-like symptoms and seek medical advice at the earliest.
“They should follow the COVID-19 appropriate behavior at the earliest. Persons with comorbidities need to be extra careful while visiting public places. Persons suffering from influenza-like illness should avoid public contact as much as possible,” the Maharashtra Health Department bulletin advised, PTI reported.
Dr Jinendra Jain, Consultant Physician, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road cautioned against taking symptoms lightly. “Symptoms like shortness of breath, confusion, fatigue, muscle aches, body aches, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are not to be taken lightly. Report the symptoms to your treating doctor,” Dr Jain said.
Kerala has also started intensifying preventive measures in the state PTI, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said in a statement that the newer genetic variants of Covid – XBB and XBB1 – are more contagious than before, so everyone should be more careful and wear a mask properly for self-defense.
The minister said that about 1.8 per cent of those infected with the new forms may require hospitalisation, but as of now, there is no cause for concern. PTI,
Since WHO called Omicron “type of anxiety“, its second generation variants are also considered similar. The BA.2.75 is still dominated by India, where the new XBB variant is “a small part of the total burden of transition”, emphasizing that Dr. Sanjeet Sasidharan, Consultant and Head Critical Care, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim-A Fortis Associate, said people to get their booster shots.
“Since this variant is spreading rapidly in many states across the country, and Maharashtra has also reported few cases of the said variant, we cannot know if this will change anytime soon. Statistics from Singapore and Malaysia seem to suggest that it is by far the most contagious and the most immune-evolving variant. Hence, people should get their booster shots, especially since COVID is still spreading among the vulnerable population,” said Dr Sasidharan indianexpress.com,
Sood said that vaccination, using masks indoors and outdoors, avoiding big festivals, getting yourself tested and isolating when you are sick will help you stay safe and keep your friends and family safe from COVID-19. Can do.
Experts urged caution in view of the upcoming winter season as well as festivals. “The Covid curve is still not flattening in the country. Try to reduce the risk of COVID-19 by taking all necessary measures,” Dr Jain said.
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