Maryland doctors warn of contagious new COVID variant

A new COVID variant is rampantly spreading across the nation, creating a new wave of cases, according to CBS News.

“It is outcompeting Omicron and other variants,” Sinai Hospital Chief Medical Officer Esti Schabelman said.

The variant is called XBB 1.5 and it derives from the Omicron strain.

But this variant is more contagious. Schabelman said a month ago the subvariant was only at .6 percent of all cases in the nation. Now, it has spread to more than 40% with 75% of new infections in the northeast.

He said this variant is not sending people to hospitals as often.

That doesn’t mean tossing out masks altogether just yet. Anyone attending a large gathering should bring a mask with them just in case, especially if they are unvaccinated.

The new strain appears to be fighting against vaccines.

 “It has the capacity to evade vaccines even more than the previous variant such as Omicron,” Schabelman said.

However, the current vaccines are effective to some degree as they are preventing hospitalizations and death, he said.. 

But there is room for improvement.

“In the future, we are probably going to need vaccines that are targeted at Omicron and its subvariant,” he said. “And that’s already being worked on.”

If you start to feel sick, don’t brush it off.

Schabelman said take responsibility and avoid going to work or any events to help prevent any further spread.

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