Catalonia has detected a sample of the variant XBB.1.5…, sublineage of omicron from the United States (USA), according to sources from the Conselleria de Salut confirmed to this newspaper. Everything indicates that XBB.1.5.., also known as kraken, is the fastest growing omicron sublineage. since the irruption of this variant in November 2021. Thus, kraken is so far the most infectious variant and could have a certain vaccine escape. In addition, there are two other kraken specimens identified last November in the Basque Country.
According to the department, “there is no evidence of increased severity.” of kraken. The number of samples of this variant identified in Europe at the present time is 76 sequenced and registered in Gisaid, the European initiative promoting rapid data sharing of all influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2.
The Sistema de Vigilància Epidemiològica de Catalunya is “attentive” to all the variants in follow-up and is monitoring their evolution. The predominant variant for weeks continues to be very mostly the BQ.1.
The epidemiological situation is “stable at low levels”. “The epidemiological services as well as those of microbiological analysis in Catalonia are very careful”, assure sources of Salut.