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Surge in Covid-19 cases in India linked to highly contagious XBB1.16 variant

Surge in Covid-19 infections in India linked to 349 cases of XBB1.16 variant

India has seen a surge in daily Covid-19 infections, with 349 cases of the newly detected XBB1.16 variant, which may be responsible for the recent increase in cases. According to data from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), Maharashtra has the highest number of XBB1.16 variant cases with 105 cases, followed by Telangana with 93 cases, Karnataka with 61 cases, and Gujarat with 54 cases.

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XBB1.16 variant: Descendant of XBB lineage and the most contagious variant so far

The XBB1.16 variant, which is considered to be the most contagious variant so far, is a recombinant lineage of the virus and a descendant of the XBB lineage of Covid-19. It was first detected in India in January 2022, when two samples tested positive for the variant. In February, 140 XBB1.16 variant samples were reported, and in March, 207 XBB1.16 variant samples were found.

XBB1.16 variant: A significant threat that can evade immunity

Health experts have warned that XBB1.16, a mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2, can evade immunity, making it a significant threat. Symptoms of the XBB1.16 variant include upper respiratory issues, such as a blocked nose, headache, and sore throat, along with fever and myalgia, which typically last for three to four days. Currently, the XBB1.16 variant does not appear to cause severe health issues.

XBB1.16 variant spreads to at least 12 countries; health expert urges Covid-appropriate behavior

The XBB1.16 variant has been detected in at least 12 countries, with the highest number of cases in India, followed by the US, Brunei, Singapore, and the UK. According to Dr. Randeep Guleria, former AIIMS director and leader of the national Covid task force, the rise in Covid cases in India appears to be driven by the XBB1.16 variant. He emphasized the importance of following Covid-appropriate behavior to contain the spread of infection and reassured the public that most cases are not severe, so there is no need to panic.

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