The Center of Disease Control (CDC) has reported that just over 40 percent of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. are from XBB.1.5, an omicron variant.
Evaluated as more contagious than the variants that stemmed from the coronavirus first detected in China, the XBB.1.5 omicron variant has been described as a recombinant, defined as genetic material made up of two sources.
The XBB.1.5 omicron variant has been traced to the Singapore surge, and the spread in the U.S. has not impacted the Midwest as severely as other regions of the U.S.
Only six percent of the coronavirus cases in the Midwest have been identified as XBB.1.5 despite the fact that some other regions infected exceed 40 percent of the cases.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions have been hit the hardest with 75 percent of cases reported in the Northeast Region being XBB.1.5. Just over 70 percent of the cases in the Mid-Atlantic Region have been reported as being from the same omicron variant.
According to the CDC, the XBB.1 coronavirus could have mutated in New York to form the XBB.1.5, and the CDC has noted that the XBB.1.5 began spreading across the U.S. in Dec. of 2022.
Having concluded that the omicron variant is no longer in the picture, the CDC has determined that the BQ.1.1 variant is the most prevalent in the U.S. with XBB.1.5 cases increasing.
The XBB.1.5 was first detected in N.Y. and Conn. in Oct. of 2022, and the rapidity of its spread from four percent in Nov. to more than 40 percent in Jan. has virologists predicting that it will soon surpass BQ.1.1. to become the most prevalent omicron variant in the U.S.