What to know about XBB.1.5, the new Omicron variant

Headlines are surging around the new “supercharged” coronavirus sub-variant of Omicron called XBB.1.5 which scientists have nicknamed the “kraken” variant because of its high transmissability.  

It’s still Omicron, says Tulio de Oliveira, head of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp), just “slightly more transmissable”. He says “it’s not any kind of virus that will cause havoc on the world” and has called on South Africans not to panic because we have achieved “a high population immunity”.  

Interested in learning more? 

  • Business Insider: What you need to know about XBB.1.5 – the New Omicron variant 
  • BBC: What is known about new Covid variant XBB.1.5? 
  • eNCA: New subvariant being monitored closely 


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