Signs of spread of Corona variant XBB.1.5 in Europe
the Subline XBB.1.5 of the Corona variant Omicron could according to experts spread to Europe and Germany in the coming weeks and months. “One can say with some prognostic certainty that the variant will also become the dominant variant for us,” said the Bremen epidemiologist Hajo Zeeb.
XBB.1.5 has rapidly increased in frequency in the northeastern United States and has dominated the infection process there since mid-December, said Richard Neher, head of the research group Evolution of Viruses and Bacteria at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. Outside of the northeastern United States, the variant is even less common, but the proportion is increasing.
Corona specialist Maria van Kerkhove from the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that the subline was more easily transferrable than any of the previously known variants. According to Neher, there is little information about the severity of diseases. Cases and hospitalizations have increased across the US, not just in regions where XBB.1.5 is prevalent, the expert said. This is at least a first indication that the degree of severity does not differ significantly from that of other variants currently circulating.