New omicron subvariant on path to dominance, data suggests

Omicron subvariant XBB is encroaching on BQ.1 and BQ.1.1's dominance, CDC data shows, as it accounts for 18.3 percent of U.S. cases and makes up more than 1 in 2 infections in the Northeast. 

Subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, which became the nation's most pervasive strains in November, are on the decline. 

The FDA began tracking XBB on Nov. 28. The subvariant is a fusion of two other omicron subvariants, BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75, and it caused a wave of cases in Singapore. Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, wrote Dec. 23 that XBB mutation XBB.1.5 "has the most growth advantage vs. BA.5," which was causing most COVID-19 cases for months. 

The tweaked booster shots are expected to have some protection against XBB and XBB.1.5, Dr. Topol wrote. However, Anthony Fauci, MD, outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in late November, "The protection is diminished multifold with XBB."

Two more COVID-19 updates:

1. Hospitalizations: The daily average for new hospital admissions on Dec. 26 was 40,156, according to The New York Times.

2. Deaths: From Dec. 16-23, 2,952 people died from COVID-19, according to HHS. As of Dec. 14, the latest CDC data available, a total of 1,083,279 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the United States. 


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars