The new variant, which I’m pretty sure I currently have, is XBB.1.5. When it mutated, it worked hard to escape the vaccine antibodies. That was its target.
Dr. Panda explains that XBB.1.5 is a very immune-evasive SARS-CoV-2 variant, and it is quickly becoming dominant in the United States. Data from the CDC shows it’s already become nearly 41% of cases nationwide.
In the Northeast, it’s 75% of the cases. Some are calling it the New York variant since it appears to have started here.
Hospitalizations are spiking in New York with its appearance, and it’s very prominent on Long Island, along with the flu and RSV.
The elderly over 70 are getting hit hard again.
“XBB is a recombinant variant of 2 different BA.2 strains, BJ.1 and BA.2.75, further mutated to XBB.1.5. One of the key mutations is F486P which allows the virus to better escape antibodies that neutralize the virus,” Dr. Panda says.
“It’s the first time that the virus has increased its fitness through recombination instead of single mutations,” Dr. Panda says.
F486P is a hell of a mutation, as @jbloom_lab‘s RBD heat map made clear many months ago. It’s the #1 AA residue for RBD expression and ACE2 binding strength. It just took the virus a while to get over the 2-nuc-mutation barrier. https://t.co/3SihqIHHmx
— Ryan Hisner (@LongDesertTrain) December 24, 2022
Dr. Panda Says… [bold is mine]
“The rate at which XBB.1.5 has taken over the Northeast and (presumably soon) the rest of the country is extremely fast. Taking a look at all of the evidence leads me to believe this variant was formed as a result of the intense immune pressure by the virus to escape vaccine-induced antibodies. What we appear to have here is a direct result of vaccinating during a pandemic with a nonsterilizing vaccine. We now have a virus that appears to possess greater antigenic escape and is more virulent.
“Over the course of natural viral evolution and mutation do you think the virus will try to overcome the many antibodies your body produces via natural infection or the same antibody, in millions of people, that the vaccine produces? Answer: The virus will select the easier route – the vaccine-induced antibodies.
“Even though it seems this variant is more concerning for the vaccinated without prior natural infection, I advise everyone to keep their immune systems healthy! Especially during the winter months, you could be VITAMIN D DEFICIENT. Vitamin D is essential for the immune system to function properly along with Vitamin C and zinc. FLCCC has a decent COVID prevention protocol.
“No need to panic. I hope you will find this information informative and helpful. “
My family managed to avoid catching COVID for two years, but we did finally catch it, probably on Christmas Eve. It became apparent on December 27th. We have the symptoms ascribed to XBB.1.5, and we are in New York. I was exposed to that strain. It’s very contagious. I am not boosted. I had one bad day with a horrendous sore throat, but the rest of the days, it was a typical cold. My husband had it a little worse. I am almost over it with a slight cough.