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Friday, June 2, 2023

COVID XBB.1.16 Strain ‘One to Watch,’ Says WHO

XBB.1.16 has high infectivity and pathogenicity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring XBB.1.16, an Omicron subvariant that has been detected in over 20 countries and contributing to a recent surge of COVID cases in India.

Known as “Arcturus,” XBB.1.16 has been listed as a WHO variant under monitoringopens in a new tab or window since March 22, with 800 sequences of the Omicron subvariant currently analyzed across 22 countries.

“Most of the sequences are from India and XBB.1.16 has replaced the other variants that are in circulation, so this is one to watch,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, technical lead for COVID-19 response at the WHO, during a virtual press briefingopens in a new tab or window last week.

XBB.1.16 has high infectivity and pathogenicity, Van Kerkhove noted.

Read more at MedPage Today

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