WHO On Tenterhooks Over New Covid-19 Variant Named ‘Kraken’ That Spreads Like Wildfire

WHO On Tenterhooks Over New Covid-19 Variant Named 'Kraken' That Spreads Like Wildfire

By Uganda Online Media

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised major concerns sparked off by the latest strain of the Covid-19 virus, which is understood to be “ultra-transmissible”.

A number of health experts have issued a warning after the variant jumped the Atlantic and began spreading in the UK after being detected in the US a number of days ago.

The XBB.1.5 variant has been dubbed “The Kraken” and is currently at its height across the US as well as in parts of Britain.

WHO’s technical lead for Covid, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, has also expressed her concern about the rapid growth of the new variant.

Speaking at a press conference, she said: “We are concerned about its growth advantage in particular in some countries in Europe and in the US, particularly the Northeast part of the United States, where XBB.1.5 has rapidly replaced other circulating variants”.

“Our concern is how transmissible it is… and the more this virus circulates, the more opportunities it will have to change”, she added.

Meanwhile, Professor Lawrence Young from Warwick University told the Mail Online that the new variant will be a “wake-up call” to the UK.

He said: “The XBB.1.5 variant is highly infectious and is driving increased hospital admissions in New York, particularly among the elderly.

“Waning immunity, more indoor mixing because of the cold weather and lack of other mitigations, such as wearing facemasks, are also contributing to this surge of infection in the US.

“This is a wake-up call – a sharp reminder that we can’t be complacent about Covid. The threat of XBB.1.5 and other Covid variants further exacerbates the current NHS crisis and stresses the need for us to remain vigilant”.

XBB.1.5 has not yet been detected in Ireland, however, it’s likely to arrive over the coming weeks, as is the case with most variants originating from abroad.

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