Pandemic Rapid Risk Assessment Updated by the WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO today issued a Rapid Risk assessment regarding the XBB.1.5 coronavirus variant. The XBB.1.5 variant is a sublineage of XBB, which is a recombinant of two BA.2 sublineages.
Based on its genetic characteristics and early growth rate estimates, XBB.1.5 may contribute to increases in case incidence.
As of January 11, 2023, the WHO stated in a media release that the overall confidence in the assessment is low, as growth advantage estimates are only from one country, the United States of America (USA).
From October 22, 2022, to January 11, 2023, 5,288 sequences of the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant have been reported from 38 countries.
Most of these sequences are from the USA (82.2%), the United Kingdom (8.1%), and Denmark (2.2%).
Globally, nearly 2.9 million new COVID-19 cases and over 11,000 related fatalities were reported for the week ending January 8, 2023.
This Edition 125 data represents a reduction in weekly cases and deaths of 9% and 12%, respectively, reported the WHO on January 11, 2023.