According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, XBB.1.5, is now responsible for nearly half of the cases of infection in the United States. This variant is a recombinant of two different omicron BA.2 variants and is believed to be more contagious than previous variants. Symptoms of XBB.1.5 are similar to other COVID-19 variants including congestion, body aches, fever, chills, cough, and sore throat. This variant is particularly prevalent in the Northeast, where it is responsible for 75% of cases.
At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that people infected with XBB.1.5 are more likely to suffer severe symptoms of the COVID-19 infection. However, some doctors believe that receiving the bivalent COVID-19 booster may reduce the risk of severe disease.
To protect yourself and your family, it is important to take the necessary precautions. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often. Additionally, seek medical attention if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with the virus.
The CDC urges the public to be aware of the prevalence of XBB.1.5 and to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families. While there is currently no evidence that suggests that those infected with XBB.1.5 will suffer more severe symptoms of the COVID-19 infection, there is the potential for it to be more contagious than previous variants, so it is important to take all the necessary precautions to ensure safety.