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Things You Need to Know About the XBB Variant

The XBB variant is the cause of the increase in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia. The symptoms are relatively mild and are often mistaken for the flu because the signs are very similar.

Things have been better around us, but the pandemic is clearly not over. In fact, yet another subvariant of the infamous Omicron has become quite the highlight of COVID-19-related news these days. Yes, we are talking about the XBB subvariant responsible for Singapore’s significant surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), since October 17, 2022, there have been 26 countries that reported findings of the XBB subvariant, including Indonesia. 

With the XBB subvariant lurking around, we must stay vigilant. That means implementing all health protocols and educating ourselves. Understanding the problem (or in this case, the subvariant) at hand helps us to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. 

Therefore, check out the following summary we have put together to answer common questions about the XBB subvariant. 

  • What’s the main different characteristic of XBB?

Following the reported cases of the XBB subvariant in Indonesia, the Indonesian Task Force for COVID-19 Handling warned the public that the new XBB subvariant has a faster transmission rate than the BA.5 and BA.2 subvariants. 

They stated that the XBB sub-variant spreads 0.79 times faster than the BA.5 and 0.46 times faster than the BA.2 sub-variant. This transmission rate was reportedly the culprit behind the surge in COVID-19 cases in Singapore. 

  • How dangerous is the XBB?

Though this subvariant transmits faster, the symptoms of an XBB infection are mostly mild. Being a subvariant of Omicron, the XBB also mainly attacks the upper respiratory system, unlike the Delta variant, which causes damage to the lungs. The Indonesian Task Force for COVID-19 also pointed out that the most recent variants and subvariants are less lethal. 

Furthermore, the task force also stated that the XBB has a lower fatality rate than other Omicron sub-variants. However, people with comorbidities and the elderly should be more careful. And keep in mind that the hospital occupancy rate might rise during the surge of COVID-19 cases. The point is never to take the situation lightly. 

  • What are the common symptoms of the XBB variant infection? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients infected with the XBB subvariant suffer from symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, feeling cold, muscle ache, headache, sore throat, stuffy nose or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath.

The observation of the new subvariant by the Indonesian Task Force for COVID-19 Handling has found that nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing were considered less common symptoms. In conclusion, the symptoms of XBB seem similar to those generally present in COVID-19. 

  • So, what is the takeaway?

The task force reminded the public in Indonesia that every time a new variant emerged, there was always a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Thus, we must stay alert. In other words, we are still in this together, and it is our job to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.

At last, if you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or are in need of medical care, our professional English-speaking team at Prime Plus Medical in Canggu, Bali, is ready to assist you 24/7. 

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