LOS ANGELES, March 21 — The highly transmissible Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now accounts for over 90 per cent of new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States, according to the latest estimates by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

XBB.1.5 was estimated to account for 90.2 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the country in the latest week ending March 18, Xinhua reported.

It was up from 88.8 per cent a week before and 86.3 per cent two weeks prior, CDC data showed. The prevalence of XBB.1.5 has kept increasing since late last year.

The second most prevalent strain BQ.1.1 only accounted for 3.5 per cent in the latest week.

The CDC first started tracking XBB.1.5 in November last year, when it accounted for less than 1 per cent of cases nationwide. Since then, the strain is spreading quickly in the United States.

While XBB.1.5 is spreading easier, scientists said it does not seem to cause more severe disease.


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