What You Should Know About The New XBB Variant

The U.S. is currently seeing a growing number of COVID-19 cases stemming from the new XBB variant. This strain is known as XBB.1.5. Tracking data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the new variant is now responsible for 27.6% of cases across the country, second only to the BQ.1.1 variant. Some areas of the U.S., in particular, are seeing greater numbers of XBB.1.5 infections. Such areas include states in the Northeast, in which the variant now accounts for roughly three-quarters of new cases in the region, reports The Washington Post.

Some experts believe that the emergence of this new variant was born out of the circulation of multiple viruses simultaneously. To get a better understanding of where the new variant stems from and how we can best protect ourselves, Health Digest spoke with Dr. Dung Trinh, founder of HealthyBrainClinic.com, who explained exactly what we need to know.

XBB.1.5 symptoms and prevention

Dr. Trinh begins by explaining to Health Digest what kinds of symptoms to be on the lookout for in regard to the XBB.1.5 variant. "Common symptoms are similar to previous Omicron variants — mainly upper respiratory symptoms," he states. However, Dr. Trinh notes that the severity of illness related to the new variant does not appear to be severe. "The majority of symptoms are mild and do not lead to hospitalizations," he states. Even so, he cautions that certain populations may still be more vulnerable to hospitalization than others. "Those susceptible to hospitalizations include the elderly with multiple co-morbidities and immune suppressed," he explains.

Dr. Trinh goes on to highlight the differences between XBB.1.5 and those of previous variants. "The latest variant XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible variant yet and is a descendent of the Omicron variant, " he states. When asked about how XBB.1.5 came to be, he replies, "The XBB variant is believed to be the combination of two other Omicron sub-variants." Dr. Trinh concludes his interview by offering protective measures one can take to help reduce their chances for infection. "Stay updated on COVID boosters, wear high-quality masks, and avoid crowds," he advises.

To learn more about Dr. Dung Trinh, visit HealthyBrainClinic.com.