Expert advises vigilance, vaccination as new Covid ΧΒΒ.1.5 takes hold

Expert advises vigilance, vaccination as new Covid ΧΒΒ.1.5 takes hold

The most contagious sub-variant of SARS-CoV-2 that has emerged to date, XBB.1.5, and the new severe wave of coronavirus in China are worrying scientists, said Nikos Tzanakis, Professor of Pulmonology in the School of Medicine at University of Crete.

Governments are taking preventive measures to deal with the outbreak of Covid-19 in China and scientists are monitoring developments, as the possibility of a new mutation of SARS-CoV-2 arising from the infection of millions of people in China is not trivial, he said.

“Since the outbreak of infections in China, what is troubling is the possibility of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 appearing, the probability is small but not zero,” Tzanakis said adding that the increased surveillance is justified.

However, he said that emphasis should be placed on genomic surveillance of coronavirus in aircraft effluent in direct flights from China. He estimated that testing (antigen rapid detection test, or molecular testing) all travelers on direct flights from China 48 hours before their departure will do nothing, as people may initially test negative and then become ill.

“I personally strongly recommend vaccination with the updated vaccine for everyone, use of a mask and disinfection of hands and surfaces”, he added.


Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.