Rapidly spreading XBB.1 descendant, XBB.1.16, may be to blame for the current spike in Covid cases in India, according to foreign and Indian scientists studying the SARS-CoV2 variations, as per reports. According to an international platform that tracks Covid variations, India has the most sequences (48), followed by Brunei (22), the United States (15), and Singapore (14). This subvariant is becoming more common in at least four nations, including India and researchers monitoring Covid variations around the world have discovered the XBB.1.16 spreading rapidly in some areas. Read more on this here
“In India, XBB.1.16 is showing a high prevalence in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, as per covSPECTRUM. XBB.1.16 has not descended from XBB.1.5, but both have descended from the recombinant ancestor XBB and more recently XBB.1. XBB is currently dominating in India, and the latest uptick in cases in the country could be a result of XBB.1.16 and perhaps XBB.1.5, but a few more sample runs would clear the picture,” a top expert from India’s genome sequencing network was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Centre Asks States to Take Caution Amid Covid Rise
The Centre on Thursday also asked six states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka — to follow a risk assessment-based approach to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19 infections, citing a possible localised spread of the virus. “There are a few states which are reporting higher numbers of cases indicating possible localised spread of infection,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said in a letter to these states.
Bhushan advised these states to examine the situation of Covid-19 at micro-level and maintain focus on implementation of necessary measures for prompt and effective management of the disease, duly ensuring effective compliance with various advisories issued by the Ministry of Health. Asking the states to keep a strict watch, he mentioned that India has observed a significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases during the past few months.
However, since the past few weeks a rise in cases has been noted specifically in certain parts of the country with a total of 2,082 cases being reported in the week ending March 8 and the figure rising to 3,264 cases in the week ending March 15. “There is a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach to prevent and contain the infection, without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic,” Bhushan wrote.
He stressed on monitoring new and emerging clusters of new COVID-19 cases, influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases in all health facilities or through dedicated fever clinics on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection.
Now, two types of viruses are spreading, and the concern is that their symptoms overlap. The first is influenza H3N2, and the second is a novel Covid-19 strain called XBB 1.16.
But what are the differences between XBB 1.16 and H3N2?
In both cases, however, as symptoms overlap, it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional to take the correct medicine and treat your body.
Fever, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and clinical indications of pneumonia are all symptoms of the H3N2 subtype. According to the ICMR, 92% of hospitalised SARI patients with H3N2 had fever, 86% have cough, and 27% have shortness of breath. Patients may require oxygen or ICU care in some circumstances, said a report by Mint.
Doctors warn that it usually affects persons who have underlying medical concerns. So far, two deaths in India have been reported, with both patients suffering from comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and lung cancer.
And according to a DNA report, this new Covid-19 variant’s symptoms include fever, sore throat, cold, headache, body aches, and weariness. It may also have an effect on your digestive and respiratory systems. When it comes to treatment, paracetamol and vitamin supplements are considered to be effective after consulting with a specialist, the report says.
With inputs from PTI
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