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XBB1.5 Dubbed The ‘Kraken’ Is The Most Transmissible Sub-Variant, WHO Says

XBB1.5 Dubbed The ‘Kraken’ Is The Most Transmissible Sub-Variant, WHO Says

XBB.1.5. or the ‘Kraken’ is said to be the most transmissible sub-variant and can evade natural immunity.

Adeline Leong
xbb1.5 kraken omicron variant covid-19

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A new Omicron variant known as the XBB.1.5 has been given the nickname ‘Kraken.’

The nickname was coined by Dr Ryan Gregory, a biology professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, France, to help better communicate about the evolving Omicron threat to the public.

Admittedly, naming the various Covid strains using the PANGO lineage (using a combination of letters and numbers) can be confusing and easy to forget.

Dr Ryan came up with the idea to name the Covid-19 variants using the names of mythology creatures to share information about the evolving virus strains in an accessible way.

What is the ‘Kraken’ variant?

XBB.1.5 aka Kraken is a cross between two earlier Omicron strains: BA.2.75 (Centaurus) and BA.2.10.1.

It has a mutation that makes it bind tighter to the human ACE receptor, which can affect its contagious level.

The Kraken variant was raised as a concern by WHO last October due to its ability to ‘dodge’ natural immunity and vaccine protection.

It has caused waves of infection in countries like Singapore and India.

The strain could also re-infect people who have recovered from an earlier Covid-19 infection.

Kraken, dubbed as the “most transmissible sub-variant,” has been reportedly found in 29 countries, including the United States, where it’s currently the dominant strain.

According to Berita Harian, the Kraken strain has not been detected in New Zealand.

Over in China, Shanghai detected three infections caused by the variant and said all were imported cases. The prominent strains in the country are the Omicron variants: BA.5.2 (Triton) and BF.7 (Minotaur).

While data remains limited on Kraken’s severity, the high transmissibility of the virus strain is worrying people around the world.

The situation is especially dire for those living in places where their healthcare system is already pushed to its limits.

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