Many people are still getting infected with COVID-19 subvariants. As of today March, 26th 2023 you probably know someone that has the new subvariant here in Texas. They developed severe sickness and had to go to the hospital, and some died. (Stats: people over 55 to 70) That's the bad news - the good news is that the numbers are meager in this age group. But it only takes you getting it one time and that's too many. For that reason, experts continued to express concerns that a large volume of cases in a particular area could overwhelm medical centers, making it difficult to treat severe cases.
What is the XBB.1.5 subvariant?
Since the COVID-19 Omicron variant became the world’s dominant strain, it has mutated into different subvariants. First it was BA.1, then it was the BA.5 Omicron subvariant. It eventually mutated into BQ.1 and BQ.1.1.
Now there is XBB.1.5—nicknamed the Kraken—which derived from the BA.2 Omicron subvariant. It is part of the XBB family of variants that emerged a few months ago and caught virologists’ attention because it contains more mutations to evade immunity than other variants seen so far. The XBB.1.5 subvariant has a mutation that is believed to help the virus bind to cells, becoming more transmissible. More
What to know about the Kraken variant
1. The Kraken variant appears to evolve differently from previous variants.
The Kraken variant is a descendant of the XBB variant, nicknamed Gryphon.
Gryphon caused large outbreaks in Asia this past fall. It was the first documented example SARS-CoV-2 variant that evolved from two viruses combining genetic information. For this reason alone why so many are pointing the finger at "man-made in a lab"
2. Hospitalization rates are rising rapidly in areas where the Kraken variant is spreading.
Regions of the United States affected early by Kraken are experiencing a dramatic acceleration in hospital admissions. In persons aged 70 and above, rates are like those seen with the original COVID-19 virus and the omicron variant.
“What we’re seeing now in hospitalizations is one of the more rapid rises in hospitalization rates that we’ve seen in the pandemic overall,” says James Lawler, MD, Nebraska Medicine infectious diseases expert. “The overall hospitalization rate is rising across all ages, but most predominately in those who are most vulnerable and over age 70.”
3. The Kraken variant’s ability to spread is significantly higher than previous variants.
While the Kraken variant is relatively new, it is more easily transmitted from person to person than a Gryphon. It’s also much more transmissible than the variants of SARS-CoV-2 that we encountered in 2020 and 2021.
As of last week’s data, over 27% of new infections in the United States are considered Kraken. The proportion of the Kraken variant is doubling weekly in areas where it is spreading.