Contagious Covid-19 Variant “Kraken” identified in Ireland
By The Headlines, January 9, 2023 | 10:18 PM
A new "Kraken" variant appears to be surging across many areas of the United States and has now been identified in Ireland. This variant is 113% more contagious than any other older variants as per European health authorities.
What is Kraken variant of Covid-19?
Dr Ryan Gregory, a biology professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, said the nickname was simply "intended to help people keep track of who's who in the ever-growing variant soup."
The nickname for XBB.1.5, "Kraken", is informal but is intended to help people keep track of who's who in the ever-growing variant soup (there are now more than 650 "Omicron" subvariants). XBB.1, from which XBB.1.5 is descended is "Hippogryph". The original XBB is "Gryphon".
— T. Ryan Gregory (@TRyanGregory) January 1, 2023
XBB.1.5, is a highly contagious variant that has been associated with two other variants, BA.2 and XBB, which is one related to an outbreak in Singapore seen earlier this year.
How the Contagious Kraken Spreads?
Kraken has quickly risen to dominance and experts say this may be because it is more contagious than many of its predecessors.
"It went from 4% of sequences to 40% in just a few weeks," Dr. Jha, White House COVID czar, tweeted. "That’s a stunning increase."
Jha says the omicron variant is likely more immune evasive, even "more than other omicron variants."
Good morningOver the holidays, you may have heard about Omicron XBB.1.5 It went from 4% of sequences to 40% in just a few weeks That’s a stunning increase So what does it mean? Will it cause a wave of serious illness and death? Here's what we know, don't know 🧵 — Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@AshishKJha46) January 4, 2023
Five new cases have been notified to the Irish system since Monday, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. 96,276 cases have been sequenced in Covid-19 since December 18th. The latest figures show that older Omicron subvariants are still the most significant.
Across Europe, the risk of a new and more dangerous "variant" of this virus is increasing. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warns that cases may spike with this new variant.
What are the Symptoms and How Can You Avoid Infection?
The COVID symptoms haven't changed with the Kraken variant. Those who are vaccinated or boosted are likely to have less severe symptoms and will recover faster. In Britain, health officials are now monitoring XBB.1.5 and have said the symptoms are similar to those caused by Omicron.