Coronavirus variant XBB.1.16 spotted in 18 US states

The new SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant XBB.1.16 has spurred increased hospitalizations and deaths in some countries. In the U.S., the dominant variant is still XBB.1.5, but health officials say other variants are on the rise.

XBB variants 1.9.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5.1 are on the rise in the U.S. according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The new XBB 1.16 variant has also been identified in several states.

XBB 1.16 has been circulating for a few months, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, the World Health Organization's technical lead for COVID-19.

While the variant is gaining the most traction in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, there have been confirmed cases in at least 18 U.S. states, according to Fortune. According to reported data, the states with XBB.1.16 cases are:

  1. California
  2. Delaware
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Illinois
  6. Indiana
  7. Iowa
  8. Louisiana
  9. Minnesota
  10. Nevada
  11. New Jersey
  12. New York
  13. North Carolina
  14. Ohio
  15. Pennsylvania
  16. Texas
  17. Virginia
  18. Washington

A descendant of the new subvariant, known as XBB.1.16.1, has also been found in California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. 

At this time, health experts at the WHO are continuing to monitor cases and changes in the variant globally.


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