Winter favourable for spread of new Omicron sub-variants, warn experts

With the movement of people due to business, social reasons, tourism, and other reasons, the transmission of the virus from one state to another is fast.

By KANIZA GARARI  Published on  7 Nov 2022 11:56 AM GMT
Winter favourable for spread of new Omicron sub-variants, warn experts

Hyderabad: In October, 393 samples of Covid-19 showed the Omicron sub-variant XBB in India during genome sequencing. The sub-variant was seen in Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Karnataka. Of the 1,500 samples sequenced, traces of XBB.1 were found in 10 samples collected from Maharashtra.

Transmission of this variant is also very high and there are 15 spike proteins and has an immune escape. With the early onset of winter, the spreading ability of the virus is also enhanced as the climatic conditions are favourable for them.

With the movement of people due to business, social reasons, tourism, and other reasons, the transmission of the virus from one state to another is fast.

Dr. Kiran Madhala, head of the department of anesthesia at the Government Medical College in Nizamabad explains, "Due to the high transmission rate, the SARS-Cov 2 virus variants will cause more disease but they will be mild. This is because people have developed immunity via infection and also through vaccines. In India, 70% of the population is vaccinated so there is protection. Yet, we need to be alert as the seasonal change can lead to a spike in cases."

The immune escape mechanism of the variant XBB shows that it is trying to evolve. For this reason, it is important to collect samples from all states and carry out sequencing to understand the pattern. Experts state that those in the age group of 61 years and above must opt for booster doses if they have not taken them for their safety.

Safety tips

· Follow hand hygiene and cough etiquette

· Avoid mass gatherings

· Wear masks in public places

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