What SD doctors want you to know about the COVID-19 variant XBB.1.5 – Argus Leader

by | Jan 17, 2023 | COVID-19

A new COVID-19 variant that’s more transmissible has made its way through the country, and it’s expected to ramp up in South Dakota in the coming weeks, Sanford Health and Avera Health officials warn.But they aren’t hitting the panic button yet as they continue to monitor data coming through.XBB.1.5, an omicron subvariant, nicknamed the “Kraken,” has been considered by some as the most transmissible variant of COVID-19 seen yet. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily more severe. It’s thought by Sanford and Avera officials to have the same amount of severity as its predecessors so far.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the new variant accounted for 43% of sequenced cases last week. With bivalent boosters available, they are thought to provide protection against the new XBB.1.5 variant, the health agency officials said.As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remain low in South Dakota, Sanford Health’s chief physician Jeremy Cauwels predicts the new variant has already made its way to the state as early as a week ago.Here’s what you need to know about the new COVID-19 strain spreading throughout the country.New variant more transmissible, no change in severityThe new variant spreads faster than any other variant so far, said David Basel, Avera Health’s vice president of clinical quality.”That’s probably the biggest thing about this is that it really, really spreads quickly, and it’s taking over different parts of the world pretty quickly, compared to others,” Basel said.While the variant is more transmissible, there …

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