The increase in COVID-19 infections in India recently This made people afraid of infection. More than 6000 cases are recorded in India every day in India. A famous virologist discovered that the COVID-19 virus A new strain known as XBB.1.16 is the culprit behind the spike in cases. Already detected in many countries, this new sub-version of Omicron has infected thousands of people in India as well.
Health Shots reached out to Dr. Jitendra Choudhary, Consultant – Intensive Care and Critical Care, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, Mumbai, and Dr Vaishali Solao, Head and Sr. Consultant, Critical Care, Fortis Hospital Mulund, Maharashtra, to understand what’s new. Variable XBB.1.16
What is XBB.1.16?
XBB.1.16 is a new subtype of Omicron detected in many countries including India. This subtype of Omicron currently accounts for 10 percent of all cases in India. Dr Solao pointed out that this new subtype of Omicron has two mutations. First time on spike protein and the second time in the open reading frame.
Dr Choudhary said XBB.1.16 is similar to the earlier version, XBB.1.15, but has additional mutations in the spike protein that may make it more infectious and potentially more virulent. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies it as a variable under investigation and says it is “Amazing”
Read more: COVID-19 Hits India Again: Over 6,000 in Last 24 Hours Know the reasons behind the rapid increase.
Symptoms of XBB.1.16
Although the infection caused by this subvariate is mild, But you should be aware of the symptoms of the disease. The symptoms of XBB.1.16 are no different from previous strains of COVID-19, adds Dr. Chaudhary. Some common symptoms you should watch out for include:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- muscle pain
- stomach problems such as diarrhea
However, some research indicates that XBB.1.16 might cause spread and reinfection in people who have been vaccinated or previously infected. The expert added
Is the XBB.1.16 version different from the previous version?
First detected in Brazil in March 2023, the XBB.1.16 variant has several mutations that make it a different variant, such as alpha, beta, gamma and delta variants. The following differences exist between this variable and the previous one:
- The XBB.1.16 variant had a higher transmission rate. This means it is easier to spread from person to person.
- The XBB.1.16 variant had a lower severity rate. meaning that it caused less severe symptoms and hospitalizations than the previous variant.
- Strain XBB.1.16 had a higher immune escape rate. This means that it can evade vaccine defenses and natural immunity more effectively than previous strains.
These differences make the XBB.1.16 variant a public health threat. Because of this, more surveillance and preventative measures are needed to control the spread, Dr. Solao pointed out. Because previous strains of Covid-19 coexist with new strains. Further genome testing will ease the evolving situation.
Take appropriate measures with COVID to protect yourself from infection.
To prevent the spread of XBB.1.16, the following precautionary measures are recommended:
1. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public or near people who are not from your home.
2. Maintain a social distance of at least 2 meters from others.
3. Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated areas.
4. Wash your hands often with soap and water. or use alcohol hand sanitizer
5. Get vaccinated as soon as possible if you’re eligible and haven’t already.
6. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing or loss of taste or smell Stay home and see a doctor.
7. Follow local health authority guidelines and regulations regarding testing, quarantine and isolation.
when taking these precautions You can protect yourself and others from XBB.1.16 and help stop the spread.
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