A 'New Class' of Omicron Contains the Rapidly Propagating New COVID-19 Subvariant XBB

New COVID subvariant spreads rapidly in Northeast, sparking concerns it evades vaccines

Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have dominated COVID-19 cases in the United States over the past few months. However, a new class of COVID subvariants is already emergin

and oofne in particular is receiving a lot  attention. It goes by the name of XBB, or Gryphon, and there's a possibility it will surpass all other systems.

According to William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, XBB is generating a lot of buzz because it spreads quickly and appears to be

able to evade immunity that people have developed from having a prior COVID-19 infection or from receiving the vaccine. We still have a lot to learn, adds Dr. Schaffner, adding that "it's early days."

Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University of Buffalo in New York, adds that XBB is one of the "new class" of Omicron variations that are now spreading quickly. He lists these as BQ.1.1, BQ.1, BQ.1.3, BA.2.3.20, and XBB.

Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, notes that

"XBB is a hybrid version of two strains of the BA.2 form of Omicron." He continues, "It's spreading effectively in Singapore right now."