Home Health Covid, WHO: ‘New XBB variant the most immune-evasive ever’. Reported in 26 countries

Covid, WHO: ‘New XBB variant the most immune-evasive ever’. Reported in 26 countries

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Covid, WHO: ‘New XBB variant the most immune-evasive ever’.  Reported in 26 countries

A new variant of Sars-Cov-2, renamed Gryphon, ends up in the spotlight of the WHO. “Preliminary laboratory tests suggest that XBB is the most immune-evasive variant identified to date,” comments the Institute.

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Covid-19 cases continue to drop around the world. In the week between 10 and 16 October, according to the latest WHO bulletin, the confirmed cases are 2.9 million, 6% less than the previous week. Despite this, the WHO invites attention to be kept high on some sub-variants: not only the BA.5, which continues to be the dominant one, but also the new XBB, renamed Gryphon, which has a high ability to evade the immune response. .

The words of the WHO

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“As of October 17, XBB, a recombinant of BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 with 14 additional mutations in the BA.2 Spike protein, has been reported by 26 countries, including Italy. Preliminary laboratory evidence suggests that XBB is the most immune-evasive variant identified to date “. WHO reports that, as of October 17, 233 sequences of Griffin, and 609 sequences of the further sub-variant XBB.1 have been registered in the Gisaid database. Furthermore, according to the Higher Institute of Health, XBB.1 has been identified in two Italian regions, namely Abruzzo and Friuli Venezia Giulia. “While the recombinant XBB shows signs of a greater growth advantage over other Omicron variants, there is still no evidence of any change in disease severity it can cause,” WHO concluded.

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Some data

WHO data confirms the slowdown of the pandemic around the world. In the last week there has been a -11% of new cases in Europe, -12% in the Americas, -17% in the Mediterranean Region, -15% in Africa, and -3% in South-East Asia. Italy goes against the trend, ranking fourth in the world for the number of new weekly cases in the period considered. Omicron, in terms of variants, is confirmed to be the dominant one, with the sub-variant BA.5 continuing to prevail. As of October 17, approximately 800 XBB sub-variant samples have been sequenced. The sub-variant, for the moment, does not appear to cause a more severe form of the disease. There remains the invitation to get vaccinated in view of autumn, and the imminent winter.

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