(RightIsRight.co) – A new and highly contagious subvariant of COVID-19’s omicron variant is already “spreading like wildfire” across the United States, experts have revealed in a report.
The new coronavirus subvariant is dubbed XBB.1.5, with two doctors, Marc Siegel and Shad Marvasti, revealing in a Fox News report that the medical community is increasingly worried about its spreading.
The medics pointed out that the new mutation of COVID-19 is “immuno-evasive,” which means that it is not very susceptible to natural immunity or vaccines.
Dr. Marc Siegel, a medicine professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, has made it clear that there are, in fact, two subvariants: XBB and XBB.1.5.
He noted that the latter was more contagious thanks to being able to cling to a host.
“The spike proteins are like suction cups. Viruses always want to be more and more transmissible and infect more hosts. So, the more it can get a grip … the more easily it transmits from cell to cell,” the professor explained.
He also emphasized that both XBB subvariants were “highly contagious,” with each new omicron variant seeking to “out-compete its predecessor.”
According to Dr. Shad Fani Marvasti, the director of public health and prevention at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, each new strain tries to overshadow the ones that emerged before it.
“Viruses always want to be more and more transmissible and infect more hosts,” he stated.
Marvasti said there could be a “trade-off” between mutations as more contagious subvariants could be less virulent.
He noted that “this is the hope for omicron and its developing variants, such as the “sticky” XBB.”
“We start seeing [the variants becoming] less severe. And that can be both a function of the evolution of the virus … and also the fact that more people have been exposed to the virus through either vaccination boosters or previous infections,” the medical expert elaborated.
Dr. Siegel declared, in turn, that there had been “no evidence” that XBB was more virulent.
“If it’s spreading like wildfire and it’s not killing more people, that means it’s less virulent. But we don’t know the reason for that,” he said.
“It’s definitely the majority of cases in the Northeast, and we expect that to be for the whole country,” Siegel added.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, XBB.1.5. is responsible for nearly 41% of COVID-19 cases nationwide.
On Christmas Eve, only 21% of the coronavirus infections were of the XBB mutation, meaning it has “picked up speed.”
In the last week of December, XBB.1.5 accounted for 75.3% of COVID-19 cases in northeastern states.
New COVID omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is ‘spreading like wildfire’ in US: Health experts reveal why https://t.co/bnQeai3aHF
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 5, 2023