The latest Omicron subvariant, XBB1.5, is highly transmissible and could infect many people, according to a top virologist in Thailand.
Chulalongkorn University’s Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thira Woratanarat said XBB.1.5 will become the main subvariant in the United States by next month and has already been found in 5% of Covid-19 patients in Europe.
It will become the main subvariant in Europe by the end of February, according to Dr. Thira, who believes that the trend of subvariants will also be seen in Thailand due to the influx of foreign tourists visiting during the high season.
But despite the fact that the XBB.1.5 subvariant is five times more contagious than other versions of the virus, it does not cause severe symptoms in the majority of patients.
So far, 673,294,559 people have contracted Covid-19 across the world and 6,746,068 have succumbed to the disease.
Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reported 627 Covid-19 patients admitted to hospitals from 15 to 21 January, or around 90 people per day, with 44 people succumbing to the virus within that time period.