DETROIT – The latest COVID-19 strain to make the way around the U. S. is becoming the nation’s most dominant strain, and is beginning in order to spread throughout Michigan.
The XBB. 1. 5 COVID variant is responsible for around 70% of new virus infections in the Oughout. S., especially on the East Coast in the New York and New Jersey areas, according to Dr . Dennis Cunningham, director of infection control and prevention at Holly Ford Health. The variant has reached Michigan, but isn’t as widespread within the state as it is elsewhere.
In a news conference on Jan. 18, Cunningham said Michigan is behind the curve, as the XBB. 1 . five strain currently accounts for less than 20% of new COVID cases within the condition as of January. 18. However, the doctor says the variant is expected to become the dominant stress in Michigan in the particular coming weeks, likely reaching the 70% threshold presently seen on the East Coast.
You can watch Wednesday’s entire news briefing in the video player down below.
According to Cunningham, every COVID variant is different, but often times what they’re seeing on the East Coastline usually reaches Michigan in about 4-6 weeks. The particular XBB. one 5 version specifically was first seen within China, then it spread across the world, achieving the eastern U. S. first, he said.
It’s important to note that there are hundreds, if not thousands, associated with COVID variants around the world, Cunningham said, yet “most of them are not very significant. ” The XBB. 1 ) 5 variant has caused a slight uptick in virus-related deaths and hospitalizations around the Eastern Coast, but nothing drastic like we first saw earlier within the pandemic.
Still, Cunningham states that Michiganders shouldn’t get too relaxed, as this individual expects COVID cases in order to rise in the state since the XBB. 1 . 5 version becomes more common.
On Tuesday: The state of michigan reports 9, 687 brand new COVID instances, 184 fatalities over last week
According to the CDC, compared in order to other variations, the XBB. one 5 variant attaches more tightly to a receptor that allows viruses to enter a cell.
Another variant of concern at this time is the omicron BF. 7 strain, which is believed to be driving the current COVID surge in China. This strain is within the U. S., plus reportedly accounted for about 2% associated with cases at the beginning of the month.
Variants will continue to emerge because COVID-19 continues to mutate and distribute around the particular globe. Doctor Cunningham said Wednesday that COVID is not going away anytime soon, yet that the vaccines still prove to protect people from serious illness when infected with the virus.
A new, “universal” COVID vaccine that would hypothetically work against all strains of the virus is in trial right now — but Cunningham said it is not here yet, and this is unclear if it will even function.
Here’s the Henry Ford Wellness news briefing:
From a week ago: What’s Going Around: Flu, gastrointestinal, COVID continue to spread in Metro Detroit