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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Covid, USA: New Kraken variant causes huge increase in infections

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After the Gryphon variant, this “could cause concern in 2023”, including in Europe. The American epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding confirms this and sounds the alarm

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In the United States, a new Covid sub-variant, Xbb1.5, already renamed Kraken, is of great concern among experts, after the number of cases “doubled in a week”. After the Gryphon variant, this “could cause concern in 2023”, including in Europe. This was explained and raised the alarm by American epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, who shared the information on Twitter, claiming “that the new variant is more immuno-evasive and more effective at infecting than other sub-variants of Omicron”.

The new Kraken variant

Named after the legendary sea monster, according to Feigl-Ding, “We haven’t seen such a rapid growth in cases since the arrival of Omicron Ba.1 a year ago.” Also on Twitter, Tim Spector, a British epidemiologist, said Xbb1.5 “could be the new variant to watch out for in 2023”. According to Columbia University experts, “Xbb.1.5 is very likely to have originated in the United States, with the first case discovered in October 2022 in the New York area.” In Europe, however, there is already alarm about the wave of infections sweeping China. A situation that has prompted several countries to impose an obligation to wash passengers coming out of the country, a measure strongly criticized by the Beijing government. “Some countries have introduced entry restrictions aimed solely at Chinese travelers. This has no scientific basis and some practices are unacceptable,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning, adding that China “could take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity.”.

The latest from Japan

In chronological order, Japan was the last country to tighten measures to contain the wave of Covid-19 infections in neighboring China. As announced to the media by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, from Saturday, January 7, visitors from China will be required to present a negative swab before entering Japan in addition to undergoing a test on arrival. In addition, domestic authorities will continue to ensure that there is no exponential increase in direct flights from China.

Source: TG 24 Sky

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