New Variant of SARS-CoV-2 Dominates US: What You Need to Know
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been a global threat for nearly three years. To make matters worse, a new variant of the virus, XBB.1.5, has emerged and is now the dominant strain in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that XBB.1.5 accounted for nearly 50% of all COVID-19 cases across the U.S. last week.
XBB.1.5 is an offshoot of the omicron variant of the virus, and is considered a recombinant virus because it carries genetic data from two previous mutations. It is thought that this new variant is able to bind to cells better than its predecessors, giving it a greater chance of infecting more people.
The CDC has suggested that anyone infected with XBB.1.5 should isolate themselves and wear a high-quality mask on campus for ten days. This is to prevent the spread of the virus and protect those at high risk of getting very sick. It is also important to remember that antibodies produced after infection with XBB.1.5 can help protect against infection and severe disease.
In conclusion, XBB.1.5 is a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is now the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S. It is important to remember to follow CDC guidelines to protect yourself and others from infection, including wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly. Antibodies produced from infection can help protect against severe disease, but it is still important to take precautions.
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