Six instances of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant category XBB coronavirus were found in Karachi on Wednesday, according to the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).
“We have detected six cases, however, others have been found around the country,” AKUH Infectious Diseases Section Head Dr. Faisal Mehmood told Dawn.com. “These have started since November.”
The Omicron subvariant of Covid-19, known as the XBB, is extremely contagious, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Early research suggested that, in comparison to other circulating Omicron sublineages, the XBB variation had a higher risk of reinfection.
According to a statement made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on December 31st, the XBB.1.5 strain, a related strain of the XBB variety, was responsible for around 40% of the verified US Covid-19 cases.
According to Dr. Mehmood, the XBB strain can spread quickly, particularly in patients who do not already have immunity from immunization or prior infections.
He continued, “The symptoms are similar to the other Covid variants,” advising those who have low immunity or have not received the booster dose to get vaccinated.
The most crucial step in halting the spread of the new strain, according to the infectious diseases expert, is to conduct sufficient testing.
If they haven’t already, he encouraged the general public to receive a booster shot.
“If you have any symptoms, you should get tested or at least wear a mask and avoid other people to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said. “If your immunity is low because of age or other medical conditions, avoid crowded areas, adopt masks, and ensure your vaccinations are up to date.”
The AKUH specialist responded to the question of whether the local immunizations would offer defence against the XBB variant, “The new variants are able to still infect people who have had the vaccination, however, the symptoms tend to be mild.”
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