Home>775Times>Washoe County Has Detected the Omicron XBB.1.5

Washoe County Has Detected the Omicron XBB.1.5

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 12, 2023 6:45 am

RENO, Nev. (775 Times, NV Globe) – Now in Washoe County, the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 has been discovered. According to health officer Kevin Dick, analysis of test results from four weeks in December reveals that the variation accounts for over 1.5% of the sequenced instances. The local health district will keep an eye on its presence there.

“It’s important to know as we have this variant that it’s more evasive and has a stronger binding with the receptor sites, we do have vaccines available as a good way to protect yourself. So, it’s not a completely new and different type of variant and the COVID-19 bivalent booster has shown to protect you from Omicron subvariants,” says Dick.

In Washoe County, the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 Omicron subvariants are also becoming more prevalent. Together, the two variations made up the bulk of COVID cases sequenced in Washoe County, during the same four-week period in December. Dick claims that is consistent with what is being reported around the country.

“CDC reported about a month ago that those variants made up about 70% of cases in the U.S,” he says. “So, what we saw, 53% – 54% is fairly consistent with that. I think what we’ve seen traditionally is as we’re seeing increasing levels of variants being reported in the U.S., it tends to show up here in Washoe County a little bit delayed.”

He claims that the CDC still considers our level of COVID-19 to be low. The number of new instances added each day over the past seven days has reached 40.

32 COVID-19 hospitalizations have been reported by the Nevada Hospital Association in Washoe County. According to Dick, RSV and flu hospitalizations are dropping in the county whereas COVID hospitalizations are staying the same. He said we are witnessing a continued decline in RSV cases. Following 121 occurrences the week before, there were 112 cases reported last week. He claims that it seems as though we reached a peak in late November or early December and are now beginning to decline. The community’s RSV infection rates are still higher than what health authorities would typically anticipate at this time of year.

Credits: KOLO TV

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