According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the new Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is rapidly spreading throughout the United States. It is estimated that it was responsible for nearly 30% of COVID-19 cases in the United States during the week ending January 7.
According to CDC data, XBB.1.5 is expected to make up more than 70% of viruses in some parts of the country, especially in the northwest. The CDC reports that XBB.1.5 accounted for 27.6 percent of all cases in the week ending January 7, up from 11.5 percent two weeks earlier and 18.3 percent the week before. Concerns have been raised due to the high infectiousness of the XBB variant, which has been increasing cases in parts of Asia.
According to CDC data, another two dominant Omicron subvariants, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, were responsible for approximately 55% of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States in recent weeks.
In light of the rapid spread of the new Omicron sub-variant XBB.1.5 throughout a number of countries, particularly the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also urged nations to advise all travelers to wear masks. Catherine Smallwood, WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, stated that passengers should be instructed to wear masks on high-risk occasions, like long-haul flights.