Uttarakhand reports first case of XBB 1.5 COVID-19 strain

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Uttarakhand reported the first case of XBB 1.5 strain of COVID-19, which is liable for the surge of cases in the United States. With this discovery, the total number of such cases in India has amounted to eight.

According to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), the latest case of the XBB 1.5 strain was discovered in Uttarakhand, followed by three cases in Gujarat, and one each in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Telangana.

The infected individual is a student in the United States and returned to Uttarakhand on the 27th of December. He was tested for COVID-19 at the airport and kept in isolation after the results came back positive. The new variant has been confirmed in genome sequencing on Monday.

The XBB.1.5 strain is related to the Omicron XBB variant, a recombinant of the Omicron BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 subvariants. XBB and XBB.1.5 together have resulted in 44% of cases in the United States.

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