New variant of Covid XBB found in countries in Asia and Europe. Credit: CKA/Shutterstock.com
A NEW variant of Covid has been detected in several countries in Asia and now in Europe, according to reports.
The Covid-19 strain, Branded XBB, it is said to be making its way through Southeast Asia, where the number of cases has been seen to double in one day in places like Singapore.
A small number of cases have already been seen in England, and it is expected that other European countries will also report cases of the new variant.
Reports that XBB is a “nightmare strain” have been called “irresponsible” by experts, who say there are no signs that it causes more severe disease than other strains, such as omicron.
UC Berkeley infectious disease expert John Swartzberg told the San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s pretty irresponsible reporting because it’s impossible to know what all these variants mean.
“We are seeing a lot of new variants that use a similar approach to survive: they are finding ways to evade the way we get immunity from vaccines and previous infection with changes in the spike protein.
“XBB is no different from the others.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the XBB variant has been detected in 26 countries in total, although it did not mention exactly where.
According to the Mirror, the strain was first found in India in August and has since been detected in Bangladesh, Japan, Singapore, Denmakar and Australia.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health said the XBB variant went from being responsible for 22 per cent of cases to 54 per cent of cases in just one week.
News of the new variant comes after reports that the main symptoms of vaccinated and unvaccinated people are different.
According to a study by Zoe Health, people who have received one or more doses of a covid vaccine are more likely to experience a runny nose and headache.
The data suggests that those who are not vaccinated may be more likely to get a sore throat, although headache is the most common symptom among the unvaccinated, with a runny nose being one of the top three.
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