XBB.15 subvariant cases doubled in one week:PHAC
by The Canadian Parvasi
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported 21 cases of the XBB.15 subvariant of Covid-19 last week. As of Monday, the number had doubled, reaching 42 cases, according to the PHAC.
Speaking to media outlets, the PHAC talked about the subvariant detection through metagenomics, stating, “Government of Canada scientists are also using wastewater metagenomics sequencing to detect variants of concern, and other important or emerging variants…PHAC’s National Microbiology Laboratory has created capacity to conduct wastewater-based sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 from multiple locations across Canada.”
The subvariant, which the WHO referred to as the most “transmissible subvariant that has been detected yet”, has rapidly been growing in Canada’s neighbouring country, the United States.
US-based experts are opining that the XBB.1.5 subvariant may possess a higher resistance to antibodies than previous strains of the virus.
In Early December, the subvariant constituted about 1.3 % of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. By the end of the same month, the subvariant took up a whopping 40 % of cases in the U.S, nearly doubling in the last week, the US CDC stated.
“Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations continues to be one of the most effective ways to protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19…Individual public health measures are effective actions you can take every day to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. They include things like staying home when sick, properly wearing a well-fitted respirator or mask, improving indoor ventilation and practising respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene,” the Heath Agency stated while speaking to media outlets.
“These measures are most effective when layered together,” the PHAC further added.